A report from TSN in Canada suggested the other day that Flyers center Nolan Patrick was on a list of players who could ask for a fresh start elsewhere this summer.
Patrick, through a team spokesman, said he didn’t want to comment on the story.
His new agent, Rich Evans, was asked Monday if Patrick wants to remain with the Flyers, the team that selected him No. 2 overall in the 2017 draft.
“I’m just at the stage now where I’m compiling information and trying to ascertain what ‘s happened in the past,” Evans said. “Once we get that figured all out, then we’ll have a plan for the future. It involves me speaking with Chuck [Fletcher, the Flyers general manager].”
Patrick, a Winnipeg native, “just got home, and I don’t think players should be making decisions on anything until they’ve been home and get to take a deep breath and have some discussions, and then we’ll figure it out,” Evans said.
Patrick, 22, is a restricted free agent and under the Flyers’ control. Evans said he didn’t know if he would seek a one-year deal or a longer pact.
After a season in which he struggled mightily, Patrick is not in a good bargaining position. He missed the entire 2019-20 season because of a migraine disorder, and this year he managed just four goals and nine points in 52 games despite playing on the second power-play unit. He had a minus-30 rating, tied for the second-worst in the NHL.
But his potential is unlimited. Back when he played in the Western Hockey League, Patrick was more dominating than players such as Mathew Barzal and Brayden Point, two current NHL stars.
“At the end of the day, Philadelphia retains his rights. He’s s Group 2 free agent, so the Flyers determine ultimately what happens with his rights,” Evans said. “I’m sure we’ll have further discussions with Chuck about the whole situation. But I would like everybody to take a deep breath at the end of the year, and we’ll work from there.”
Patrick signed a one-year deal for $874,125 before last season.
In an interview after the season ended earlier this month, Patrick was asked if he shied away from contact because of his past migraine condition. “Maybe a little bit at the start,” said Patrick, whose migraines are believed to be related to the concussion he suffered late in the 2018-19 season. “I think when you’re dealing with an injury that long, it’s always on your mind a little. At the start of the year, I was thinking about it quite a bit. It probably affected my play a little bit, but I’m back to 100% health now, so it’s nice.”
Patrick said this will be “the most important offseason of my life. The last couple years have been tough, so I’m looking forward to having a healthy summer of training. ... I think having a full offseason and a full camp, and hopefully back to normal next year, will help.”
Despite missing a full season because of migraines, Patrick has played the third-highest number of games (197) among players selected in the 2017 draft, behind New Jersey center Nico Hischier (230) and Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen (205). The latter two players were drafted Nos. 1 and 3, respectively.
Center Elias Pettersson, selected fifth overall by Vancouver that year, leads the draft class with 65 goals in just 165 games.
Reportedly, Flyers scouts wanted to select either Heiskanen or defenseman Cale Makar, who went No. 4 overall to Colorado, but then-general manager Ron Hextall opted for Patrick. Makar has become a candidate for this year’s Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s best defenseman.