If you were somehow still holding out hope that Nolan Patrick would finally come good for the Philadelphia Flyers, you can stop now.
🚨 TRADE ALERT! 🚨
We have acquired defenseman Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 17, 2021
Patrick was the #2 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. At the time, Patrick was seen as a significant acquisition for a team that had missed the playoffs for the third time in five seasons. But just around the time the ink on Patrick’s contract had dried, Patrick sustained a concussion on October 24, 2017 in a game against the Anaheim Ducks. Patrick played 73 games that season, contributing 30 points. The following season, Patrick played 72 games and had 31 points. By the end of the 2018-2019 season, concerns about Patrick’s lack of development and its possible relation to lingering effects from the concussion became difficult to ignore.
Those concerns exploded when Patrick missed the entire COVID-shortened 2019-2020 season, and after Patrick mustered only nine points in 52 games this past season, it had become apparent that the organization might consider giving Patrick a fresh start if the right deal materialized. Patrick caught a pretty significant break with where he ended up:
🔄 TRADE ALERT 🚨
Vegas has acquired Nolan Patrick from Nashville!!! 🤩
We have also acquired forward Brett Howden from the New York Rangers!!
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) July 17, 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights have made the playoffs in each of their four NHL seasons, including a loss in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. This past season, the Golden Knights lost in the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was asked about the newest Flyer in a press conference following the trade and had this to say: “Ryan is an excellent all-around defenseman…in our opinion he’s one of the best passers in the game on the blue line. He’s great in transition, he can play the power play, and he’s a very good penalty killer.” In other words, he’s an immediate upgrade to a group of defensemen that struggled to occasionally absurd levels in 2020-2021. One of those culpable defensemen was Philippe Myers, who will ostensibly fill the roster hole left by Ellis in Nashville.
Ellis is clearly the best player in the trade. He was nearly a point-per-game defenseman in the COVID-shortened season, and scored 16 goals for Nashville in 2016-2017. The risk for the Flyers, such as it is, comes in giving up two very young players for a 30-year-old defenseman. Patrick is 22 and Myers is 24. Either one of these players could conceivably become significantly more productive with his new team.
Fletcher seemed unconcerned about that possibility. “I don’t think we gave up on Nolan. We acquired one of the premier defensemen in the National Hockey League, and a player that we feel fits the needs of our team quite well.”
Watch for further analysis of this trade from the Snow the Goalie guys, Russ Joy and Anthony SanFilippo, in the coming days.