Looking back at Nolan Patrick

Nolan Patrick was expected to become the next big thing in the NHL. So what happened to the former Vegas Golden Knights star?
Vegas Golden Knights v Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
1 of 3

The NHL Draft is coming up in a few weeks and most teams are doing their homework on the up-and-coming prospects. That includes the Vegas Golden Knights, who hold the 19th overall pick in the event. Of course, Las Vegas is the host city, which means fans will get an up-close view of the team's newest member. Hopefully, the expectations aren't too heavy for whoever they pick in the draft.

Speaking of which, expectations are a funny thing in the world of sports. They can put immense pressure on an individual, leaving them to fight or crack. Nolan Patrick is an interesting case, for he was selected second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers. After dominating the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, one would expect that talent to translate to the NHL, right?

Well, the sports gods work in intriguing ways. Not everyone who does well in college or the pee-wee leagues is destined for greater things. That's the case with the former Golden Knights player, who had lofty expectations to turn around an ailing franchise. Sometimes, sports life can be cruel to those with the world before them. For Patrick, things out of his control led to an early end to his hockey career.

In honor of the upcoming NHL Draft, here's a look at a formerly promising star who fell from grace. This will look at his time with the Golden Knights and where it all went wrong. Vegas hockey fans might remember the name... or might not. It depends on who you ask. Anyways, here's what happened to Nolan Patrick.

Nolan Patrick's Vegas origins

Now before reading further, understand that Nolan Patrick wasn't selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Draft. Instead, he was picked by the Philadelphia Flyers with the second overall pick. The hope was the former Brandon Wheat Kings star could lead the franchise back to the Stanley Cup, bringing Philadelphia a title.

He looked promising for the first two seasons, scoring 26 goals and 35 assists in 145 games. But something strange happened after the 2018-19 season when Patrick started experiencing pulsing headaches regularly. He was diagnosed with a migraine disorder, which kept him away from the action. He hoped to return the next season, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. The next season, the former second overall pick only scored four goals and five assists in 52 games.

Now how did he wind up in Las Vegas? After the 2020-2021 season, Patrick was traded (with Philippe Myers) to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Ryan Ellis. Nashville immediately traded him to the Vegas Golden Knights for Cody Glass. Finally, he was reunited with general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who worked with the former Flyer during his tenure with the Brandon Wheat Kings.