The New Jersey Devils opted for Nico Hischier over Nolan Patrick, but time will be the ultimate judge in that debate. The Philadelphia Flyers also might see their guy make a more immediate jump to the NHL.
Patrick made it clear: he wants to go straight from the 2017 NHL Draft to training camp to opening night in 2017-18.
“Yeah, I think after a good summer of training, that’s my goal,” Patrick said.
The second pick of the draft noted not just his size, but also his two-way acumen when explaining why he believes he’s ready for the immediate turnaround. Patrick also brings up an interesting point: he’s already experienced three years of junior. He didn’t come out and say it, but the implication would be that his development might stagnate against lesser competition.
CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio got that same sense from Patrick in a one-on-one interview, and noted that the consensus is that he’ll make a difference from Game 1.
Scouts are unanimous in predicting Patrick will play this season in the NHL. He turns 19 during training camp.
One might read the decision to trade Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues as the Flyers’ way of agreeing that Patrick is probably ready, yet GM Ron Hextall wouldn’t just come out and say it. While praising Patrick, Hextall noted that he’ll need to “get to work” and earn a spot.
The odds seem to be in Patrick’s favor, but perhaps it’s better to see him battle for it.
Either way, don’t expect a long wait.