During Wednesday night’s 2-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick took a high hit from Nathan MacKinnon which forced him to leave the game due to injury.
The play resulted in a two-minute interference penalty, but the NHL’s Department of Player Safety believed no further discipline was needed for the Avs star forward. While he is not a dirty player by any means, it was an ugly hit, and one that could be very troublesome for Patrick.
Patrick, who is in his first season as a Golden Knight, has a history of head injuries, and was forced to miss the entire 2019-20 campaign when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers as a result. Head coach Pete DeBoer had no update for him after the game, but seemed worried for his young forward.
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” DeBoer said. “It’s not good for Nolan with his history and what it was.”
For Patrick, injuries have plagued what was once viewed as a very promising career. The now 23-year-old was a top player during his time in the Western Hockey League, and as a result was selected second overall behind Nico Hischier in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He was never able to live up to his draft status in Philadelphia, and as a result was traded to the Golden Knights this summer.
While he has shown some flashes of promise, the change of scenery hasn’t seemed to jumpstart Patrick a whole lot. He has already missed some time due to injury, and has also been healthy scratched on a number of occasions. When he has been healthy, he hasn’t put up a ton of offense with just two goals and six points in 18 games. Hopefully this injury proves to be insignificant for Nolan Patrick and he is able to not only get back on the ice, but get his career back on track.
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