With the puck on his stick, Nolan Patrick had less than a second to decide his next move. As the Rangers attempted to clear the zone, each team skating four aside, Philadelphia forced a turnover. After Jordan Weal made a close-quarters pass to Patrick, the 19-year-old rookie, playing in his fourth preseason game, was surrounded by blue sweaters, inches from the blue line, with his back to the goal. In a blink, Patrick used one stickhandle to create a passing lane, floated the puck through Gabriel Fontaine, and onto the stick of a striding Travis Sanheim. With open ice ahead of him, Sanheim walked the puck down from the blue line and unleashed a slap shot that beat Henrik Lundqvist high to the glove side. On Monday, all eyes were on Patrick, whether it was the Rangers, those watching at home, or the Flyers brass. In that moment, Patrick showed the skill and vision that long had him projected as the first pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Instead, Patrick was selected second following an injury-riddled draft eligible year. But with a clean bill of health, he will begin the season in Philadelphia hoping to provide a spark for a team that hasn't won a playoff series since 2012, one that finished tied for 26th in 5-on-5 scoring a year ago.
Nolan Patrick gaining confidence for Flyers, who see his strengths
Sporting News | Sep 26