Flyers optimistic for a Nolan Patrick return next season

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Flyers forward Nolan Patrick is on a positive track towards playing again whenever the 2020-21 NHL season begins. Speaking to reporters, GM Chuck Fletcher said the 21-year-old forward has been skating, working out, and “living mostly a normal life.”

It was almost a year ago that Patrick was diagnosed with a migraine disorder which would keep him out for the entire 2019-20 season. He’s practiced with teammates but has yet to put into a situation on the ice with contact. That will be the key to determining whether he’s ready to return.

“Time is certainly on his side in that regard,” Fletcher said. “He continues to make progress and I continue to be optimistic.”

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The 2017 second overall draft pick scored 13 goals in each of his first two seasons. He will be a restricted free agent this off-season. Fletcher said that contract talks haven’t begun as the focus is on him getting back to 100% health.

“He continues to feel better and perform more activities off the ice and on the ice, he’s sleeping better, so we feel his health is improving and that’s obviously been the foremost concern,” Fletcher said. “I don’t know if I want to get into answering that question, talking about individual contracts, but every contract has its own challenges when you’re doing negotiations and that certainly makes it tougher.

“At this point, our goal is to get him back on the ice and get his career going. I have a lot of confidence that if we can do that and Nolan plays to his potential, that down the road he’s going to be a man that should be able to sign some nice contracts.

MORE: Sean Couturier wins his first Selke Trophy

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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