The Flyers hit the ice for the first time since the regular season ended as 40 prospects gathered for the team’s development camp.
Absent from that, though, was the Flyers No. 2 selection from this summer’s draft: Nolan Patrick.
The Brandon Wheat Kings product underwent abdominal surgery prior to the draft on June 13th. Nonetheless, Patrick remained observant and absorbed all he could as he watched from the outside.
“I’ve been watching some film that they were showing us, I was watching the drills today, it’s something I can take back and do with my skills coach at home and obviously stuff I can do when I skate here,” Patrick said. “There’s a lot to learn and I’m just going to try and learn as much as I can.”
Patrick, speaking in a press conference setting, said he will be ready to skate next week, but will not participate in any on-ice drills during the camp, which wraps up with the Trial on the Isle on Wednesday.
“I’m feeling great,” Patrick said. “I’m really happy I got it done.”
He knows that when training camp rolls around, he’ll have to put in a little more work than the rest. That’s not a problem for him.
The 6-foot-2 center is focused on getting back in shape and building up his strength for what he hopes is his first season in the NHL. He’ll more than likely earn a spot on the Flyers roster, quite possibly as the second or third line pivot.
If that happens, it’d be a rare goal met for him.
“It’d be a huge honor,” Patrick said. “I think every kid growing up wants to play in the NHL, and that’s been my goal since I was super young. I don’t set too many goals for myself, but three years ago I wanted to play in the NHL my first year eligible so that’s what I’ll try to do.”
Going back to his injury, Patrick was very honest in his assessment of how last year went. He was asked to give a percentage of how he felt after reportedly playing through the pain all of last season.
“I was probably 60 percent when I first started playing than I maybe got up to 70-75 percent tops,” Patrick admitted. “I never had any wind during games, I’d lose my energy really quick, it was a lot more energy trying to skate with that injury.”
Mind you, Patrick went on to post 46 points on 20 goals and 26 assists in 33 games last season.
If he did all of that at 60 percent, this organization has to be grinning ear-to-ear with what possibly could be when he hits 100 percent.