Center Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, signed an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday.
"Every kid growing up wants to play in the NHL and that's been my goal since I was super young," Patrick said this month. "I don't set too many goals for myself, but three years ago I wanted to play in the NHL my first year eligible so that's what I'm trying to do."
Patrick had 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games with Brandon of the Western Hockey League last season but missed 39 games, including the WHL playoffs, because of a sports hernia. He had surgery June 13.
"This will be the first time in a while that I will be completely healthy," Patrick said July 7, the first day of Flyers development camp. "My injury was bugging me all season. … I'll be back on the ice next week and I'm excited."
Patrick was unable to participate in development camp, which ended July 12.
"If I waited any longer it would take two weeks off my training," he said of having surgery. "… When the doctor told me, 'It needs to be done,' I told him, 'OK, I'll get it done right away, when can we do it?' He said, 'Go home [to Winnipeg] for a couple days and come back.' I went home on a Friday, came back on a Monday and had it Tuesday morning. I'm feeling great, really happy I got it done. ...
"I've been watching some film they were showing us this morning and drills to do. I was watching the drills today. It's something I can take back and do some of them at home with my skills coach and things I can do here. There's a lot to learn, and I'm going to learn as much as I can. I'd like to take part in the on-ice stuff, but it is what it is."
Patrick's father, Steve Patrick, was the Buffalo Sabres' first-round pick (No. 20) in the 1980 NHL Draft. His uncle, James Patrick, played 1,280 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and Sabres from 1983-2004.
Center Nico Hischier, selected by the New Jersey Devils with the No. 1 pick of the 2017 draft, signed his entry-level contract Saturday.