As we’ve noted several times, it’s a little awkward when we talk about Nolan Patrick vs. Nico Hischier around here in the lead up to the NHL Draft. The Philadelphia Flyers are going to get one of them, and that is wholly dependent on whatever Ray Shero and the New Jersey Devils do with the No. 2 pick.
And one of the big questions the Devils will have to answer is with regards to Patrick’s health. He missed a huge chunk of the 2016-17 season with a sports hernia, and on Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, he told the media that it was actually two of them, and that he was misdiagnosed. Via the AP:
Patrick had surgery to repair one side of his groin last summer, and now says he also required surgery to repair the other side, which was missed by initial testing. The 18-year-old says he kept quiet about the second injury during the season and decided to make the revelation while attending the NHL’s draft-eligible player combine in Buffalo this week.
It seems like an odd time for Patrick to reveal this to the media, given that the next three weeks will be some of the most important in his life. It’s fair to note that he revealed this after meeting with both the Devils and Flyers, though, so he probably told them behind the scenes anyhow.
Will it matter? Patrick has been cleared for full activity at the Combine this weekend, and here he is this morning on the Wingate bike test. Doesn’t seem to be hindered by hernia issues at all.
He admitted after the test that he needed that little white trash can on the left. Goodbye,
breakfast tacos whatever terrible breakfast he at at the Buffalo Marriott.
Nolan Patrick joined long line of combiners who needed a bucket after bike test, but top ranked player pleased with his overall scores today— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) June 3, 2017
"I've got a little ways to go before I'm 100 percent healthy. And after a good summer of training I think I'll get there," Patrick told the AP. "I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm just going to try to test to the best of my abilities."
For his part, Ray Shero told the Devils’ website at the Combine that they’ve yet to make a decision on the top pick. Who knows how much Patrick’s injury history will really matter, but you’ve gotta think that it’s at least one of many factors.