CHICAGO — With the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, there were no real surprises. The New Jersey Devils held on to the first pick and took Nico Hischier, and the Flyers indeed held onto the second pick and took Nolan Patrick.
Nolan Patrick 2017 scouting report | SB Nation NHL Draft Match
OK, Flyers fans: ❤️ or on Nolan Patrick?Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Friday, June 23, 2017
We’ve been excited about this for months, and the payoff is sweet.
Nolan Patrick has the tools to be a No. 1 center in the National Hockey League, and his floor is ... a second-line center, barring injuries? There’s no guarantee that he’ll reach his ceiling, and injury issues are at least a slight concern. But for several years he has been projected to go at the top of this draft, and that the Flyers landed him in a second in which they finished 17th in the league standings is an absolute coup. He scored 101 points with the Brandon Wheat Kings just two years ago, and without those injury concerns, he would have ran away with the No. 1 pick. That he fell to the Flyers at two is ... well, it is luck that we are not used to in Philadelphia.
As for Nico Hischier, he is now our enemy for life. He rocketed up draft boards and ultimately took over Patrick’s spot atop the draft with a dominant first major junior season. He single-handedly almost carried Switzerland to the semifinals of the World Juniors. He might have a flashier game than Patrick, and his floor might be higher. But there is concern about just how short his time as a highly-touted prospect has been. Anyway, the Devils are going to ruin him anyways. Let’s be real.
Will Patrick step into the lineup right away? That’s hard for any young player going from juniors to the professional level, where the competition is tougher and bigger and the season is longer. It is especially tough for one coming off of an injury-laden year. We shouldn’t expect it, but he will surely get his fair shot in camp this fall.
There were rumors that New Jersey could have gone off the board with their pick. There were rumors that the Flyers were concerned about Patrick’s injury history. Ultimately, the conventional wisdom held and the Flyers have an incredible prospect on their hands here. Let’s celebrate.
We will have much much more on this pick here on the site tonight, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Bill, Kelly, Steph and Charlie and everybody at our Draft party at Smith’s are celebrating right now on the air for our podcast. Be sure to tune into that, where we’ll have live coverage of press availability with your newest member of the Flyers.
BSH Radio LIVE for the #NHLDraftPosted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Friday, June 23, 2017