Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 pick in June’s NHL draft, has made the Philadelphia Flyers‘ opening day roster, the team announced Sunday. Defenceman Robert Hagg, a second-round pick in 2013, has also made the team after three years in the AHL.
Patrick, 19, wasn’t a lock to make the Flyers despite being a high draft choice. He has battled injuries, including two sports hernia surgeries, and before camp started general manager Ron Hextall said the team wasn’t going to rush his development.
“If he needs time, he needs time,” Hextall said at the time. “We’re going to have Nolan Patrick for the next 10, 15 years, not one day or one month or two months. We’re looking at the next 15 years and what’s best for Nolan Patrick. If it’s best to go back to Brandon (the Wheat Kings of the WHL), then he’ll go back to Brandon. If it’s best to stay here, he’ll stay here.”
But Patrick made an impression during the pre-season, picking up three assists and a fight. But the Flyers can return him to the Wheat Kings before he plays his 10th NHL game without burning a year off his entry-level contract.
Hagg, 22, is a two-way defencemen who didn’t pick up any points during the pre-season. Last season with the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms, he had seven goals and 15 points with a plus-10 rating in 58 games.
The Flyers also revealed that defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere could miss the start of the season with an upper-body injury that he suffered in Sunday’s pre-season finale against the New York Islanders. That could give rookie defencemen Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim a chance to get into some regular season games too.
The Flyers open the season on Wednesday when they visit the San Jose Sharks.