Nolan Patrick remains part of the plans for the Philadelphia Flyers despite last playing 17 months ago.
Patrick, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, has been sidelined by a migraine disorder, but Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Thursday the center continues to make progress in his recovery.
“Nolan is feeling better, he’s skating, he’s working out, he’s golfing,” Fletcher said. “He’s living mostly a normal life. I think he’s made a lot of progress since March (but) until we get him back and get him into a contact situation it’s going to be hard to know when he’ll be ready to know. But he continues to improve. … He continues to make progress and I continue to be optimistic.”
Patrick last played in an NHL game on April 2, 2019. He has scored 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 145 games.
“He continues to get better and make progress,” Fletcher said. “That’s the good thing; at this stage it looks like he’s going to get his quality of life back and hopefully he’ll be able to come back and play hockey for us. He’s a real important part. As we saw in the playoffs, the ability to have three quality centermen that can play 200 feet and produce offensively is incredibly important, and he’s a big part of that future for us.”
Patrick can be a restricted free agent after the season. Fletcher said contract negotiations have not started.
“His situation is a little bit unique and we’ll have to work through that with the agent,” Fletcher said. “We haven’t started that process. … Every contract has its own challenges when you’re doing a negotiation. That (injury situation) certainly makes it tougher.”