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
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Where is Nolan Patrick now?

On June 30, 2023, the Vegas Golden Knights elected not to qualify Nolan Patrick a contract, who was a restricted free agent at the time. For the first time in his career, he hit the free agency market, where nobody would sign him to a deal. It was a sign that the young star wouldn't be returning to the NHL soon.

Now, Patrick works as a skills specialist and video coach for Power Play, a hockey coaching and mentorship program. He's referred to as a "retired pro with significant NHL experience," indicating his professional hockey days are over. He was done before he was even 30 years old, no less.

What would've happened if the forward didn't suffer from a migraine disorder? He would've had a longer career, making teams like the Philadelphia Flyers and Golden Knights even better. However, it's a matter of circumstances out of his control that hurt the former first-round draft pick, from being picked second overall in the NHL Draft to not even being in the league.

That also goes for the MacKinnon hit, which amplified Patrick's problems further. Still, it's a case of untapped potential for the Winnipeg native, who earned the dubious distinction of being retired at 25 years old. Sometimes, life can be unfair to certain people.