What Are Reasonable Expectations for Nolan Patrick’s Rookie Season?
You could argue that the entire Flyers offseason can be summed up in two words. Nolan Patrick.
The Flyers made plenty of moves, mostly internal, during the offseason, but the move that has emerged as the defining moment has been the leap up in the lottery and the selection of Nolan Patrick.
The last time the Flyers picked in the Top 2 was in 2007 when they selected James van Riemsdyk. The second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft didn’t play in the NHL for the next two seasons before making the roster in the 2009-10 season.
The rookie played in 78 games, scoring 15 goals and adding 20 assists for 35 points. That was certainly a modest debut season for van Riemsdyk, but for a Top-2 pick, the expectation is always greater.
In Patrick’s case, the expectation among the fan base is going to be enormous. The kid who was projected to be the No. 1 pick all season suddenly slipped into a neck-and-neck battle as the draft approached and when the No. 1 pick was announced, it was someone else: Nico Hischier.
So Patrick fell to the Flyers and that may prove to be their gain. He passed the test to make the roster in the preseason, despite having surgery to repair a sports hernia just days before the draft. So with Patrick on the team as a 19-year-old, what are reasonable expectations for him?