James Patrick, uncle of potential No. 1 overall pick Nolan Patrick, named coach of WHL’s Kootenay Ice

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Nolan Patrick could be taken No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft later this month. On Tuesday, there was another reason for the family to celebrate.

His uncle, James Patrick, a veteran of almost 1,300 NHL games as a defenseman with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres, was named head coach of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, signing a three-year deal.

Taken ninth overall in the 1981 NHL Draft, James Patrick had been an NHL assistant coach for the past 11 years, starting with Buffalo in 2006-07, before he eventually moved on to Dallas from 2013 to 2017.

“He has a tremendous amount of experience, understands what it takes to be a pro, develop as a pro and create a world class player experience,” said Ice general manager Matt Cockell of Patrick in a statement.

Nolan Patrick played three seasons for the Brandon Wheat Kings, a WHL opponent of the Ice. He could, following the draft, make the jump to the NHL next season.

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