According to reports from the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, 2017 NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick is set to return from a sports hernia injury that has sidelined him since October 11. Patrick, currently expected to go first overall at the draft in June, posted nine points in the Wheat Kings’ first six games of the season, before his injury forced him to sit out.
2017 NHL Draft Prospect Nolan Patrick to Return from Injury
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) January 9, 2017
Patrick had surgery for his hernia over the summer, but when his groin continued to be an issue he was kept out of the lineup. As a result, Patrick missed the World Junior Championship, where he was expected to play for Team Canada.
According to Wheat Kings GM Grant Armstrong, the plan is for Patrick to suit up on Friday against the Kootenay Ice. He joined the team for his first full-contact practice Monday, after a three-month absence.
The Winnipeg native finished fifth in WHL scoring last season with 41 goals and 61 assists for 102 points, and recorded 30 more points in Brandon’s deep playoff run that saw them win the WHL championship and appear in the Memorial Cup.
Patrick, current captain of the Wheat Kings, has been a highly-touted prospect for several years now. Originally picked fourth overall in the WHL Bantam Draft, he has been the presumptive top prospect for the NHL in 2017 since his rookie-of-the-year 2014-15 season.
Brandon currently sits fourth in the WHL’s East Division, occupying the top wildcard spot and nine points back of the third-place Swift Current Broncos.