BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Center Nolan Patrick says a misdiagnosis of a sports hernia injury contributed to the NHL’s top-ranked draft prospect missing more than half of last season.
Patrick had surgery to repair one side of his groin last summer, and now says he also required surgery to repair the other side, which was missed by initial testing. The 18-year-old says he kept quiet about the second injury during the season and decided to make the revelation while attending the NHL’s draft-eligible player combine in Buffalo this week.
The league’s central scouting department ranks Patrick as its top prospect even though he was limited to playing 33 regular-season and four postseason games for Brandon of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-2 Patrick finished with 20 goals and 46 points to up his junior career total to 91 goals and 204 points in 160 games.
Patrick is medically cleared to take part in the combine testing, which concludes Saturday.
Swiss-born center Nico Hischier is ranked second. He led Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rookies with 38 goals and 86 points for Halifax.
The New Jersey Devils have the first pick and have not yet revealed who they will select in the draft being held in Chicago on June 23-24.
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