Welcome back to Vegas Hockey Now’s season in review series where we look at every player on the Vegas Golden Knights and their 2021-22 season from Michael Amadio to Zach Whitecloud.
Today’s player is Nolan Patrick.
At this point in his NHL career, you have to feel for Nolan Patrick. The kid has been battling with the same injuries over and over again since before he was drafted into the NHL, second overall in 2017. Acquired by the Vegas Golden Knights in a one-for-one trade with the Nashville Predators for Cody Glass, Patrick had the opportunity for a fresh start with the VGK in 2021-22.
Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistency ravaged yet another season for Patrick. He missed 57 games with head injuries, upper-body injuries, COVID-19, and undisclosed injuries. In the 25 games, he was able to play, he only put up seven points with his new team in the Golden Knights.
The story of Patrick’s 21-22 can essentially be broken down into injury categories. He started the season healthy and even got a shot as the Golden Knight’s makeshift first-line center. Remember when this team didn’t have Jack Eichel?
On October 24th, Patrick left the team and landed on IR with an undisclosed injury. He returned on New Year’s Eve but left again briefly with COVID-19 in mid-January. What happened next can only be described as unfortunate as Patrick took a high hit from Nathan Mackinnon on February 16th.
Scary moments for Nolan Patrick after a shoulder to the head from Nathan MacKinnon. pic.twitter.com/b5NZs7BQ7Q
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) February 17, 2022
This kept Patrick out until mid-March but then left again versus the Nashville Predators on March 24th and never returned. He is still technically listed as out for the Golden Knights with an undisclosed injury.
As rough as Patrick’s season was, he may have scored the goal of the year for the Golden Knights. It came in a losing effort against the Carolina Hurricanes. But this slick in-between the legs goal by Patrick showed just a glimpse of his true skill and why he was chosen second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Nolan Patrick Doing Things: going through the legs and scoring a goal in Carolina pic.twitter.com/kDDYtmwhpJ
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 26, 2022
Patrick also seemed to develop some strong chemistry with Brett Howden, another young project player who battled injuries in 2021-22.
Patrick is still only 23 years old and has plenty of time to recover from injuries and rebuild his NHL career. Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon knows Patrick’s potential as he watched him thoroughly with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The Golden Knights are in a position, up against the cap, where they need good young players who can provide secondary offense. Patrick’s seven points are simply not going to cut it for a player that makes $1.2 million against the cap. There is a high possibility that the Golden Knights could look at moving Patrick in the offseason if there are any takers for him. If not, he might be getting his last shot in 22-23.