After appearing in just 25 games during the 2021-22 season and none since then, Nolan Patrick has reportedly called it quits on his NHL career. The Flyers' 2017 second-overall pick had been dealing with a migraine disorder previously, but there hadn't been much word from the Vegas Golden Knights on if that was why he missed so much time. Nonetheless, it's good to see that Patrick has found a way to give back.
An Instagram post by The Power Play Hockey Coaching and Mentorship account introduces Patrick as one of their newest mentors. It describes Patrick as a "retired pro with significant NHL experience." The program is made for hockey players and run by hockey players. In this case, Patrick will continue to be involved in the sport in a different capacity.
Patrick has not officially retired from the NHL, but this post suggests the decision could be on the horizon. After being drafted second overall by the Flyers in 2017, Patrick had a bumpy start to his professional career. He was already recovering from the abdominal surgery he had two weeks before the draft. He then missed time during development camp due to an abscess on his face.
Patrick faired decently well during his first two seasons in Philadelphia. He posted back-to-back 13-goal campaigns, registering 30 and 31 points, respectively. But trouble arose in the summer of 2019. Patrick would end up being diagnosed with a migraine disorder over the summer that would cause him to miss the entire 2019-20 season. Despite the pause due to COVID-19, he would not be ready to join the team when they entered the bubble for the playoffs either. He was brought back, though it was clear that missing so much time affected him.
While playing in 52 games, he only managed to record four goals and nine total points. It's hard to put all of the blame on Patrick, as missing an entire year of hockey isn't easy to come back from. Especially when the cause is something that doesn't have a cure. Nonetheless, the Flyers traded him and Phil Myers to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Ellis. Patrick was then flipped to the Vegas Golden Knights for Cody Glass.
Patrick would play 25 games for the Knights over the next two seasons, all of which happened during the 2021-22 season. His last NHL game was on Mar. 24 against the Predators. He had missed over two months from the end of October to December of that season as well. And almost a month from mid-February to mid-March as well. Again, the Knights described it as an upper-body injury and gave no further details.
The Golden Knights did not tender an offer to Patrick ahead of free agency this past summer, allowing him to sign with any team. That did not happen, however. If this is the end of Patrick's NHL career, it is a shame it had to end this way.
UPDATE: Nolan Patrick confirmed that he has not officially retired from the NHL. Power Play hockey has removed “retired” from his mentor description.