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If Nolan Patrick’s A Golden Knight, It’ll Be For Good Reason

Since the signing of Reid Duke, the entire Golden Knights fan base have been playing make-believe GM. The dream transaction almost every armchair general manager (including myself) wants to make, is drafting top rated prospect Nolan Patrick. By now, we’re all aware Nolan and Duke play together in Brandon, Manitoba. Patrick is currently projected first or second in most analysts mock drafts. Duke, who becomes the Golden Knights first signed player could also become the team’s first player ambassador.

Of course, we can’t expect Kelly McCrimmon to exchange all of his Brandon currency for Vegas gold but his influence could help. If he believes Patrick is worth trading future assets for, I’m sure his boss will listen. George McPhee wouldn’t just trade up for a splash, but we have to imagine McCrimmon’s opinion is heavily valued by the GM. Conspiracy nuts like myself and Alex Jones expect lottery shenanigans leading to Vegas magically getting the first pick, but the possibility of drafting four to six is real if the odds are legit.

McPhee will be having very serious conversations with all 30 GMs in the near future so he’ll know (he might already) what the price of moving up will be. Analysts like Craig Button and Bob McKenzie are both down on this year’s draft but that doesn’t mean a team will make trade-swapping easy on Vegas.

Now that we know the situation, we have to ask the obvious question, is trading up for Nolan Patrick is even worth it? The projected number one pick’s numbers are silly over the past three plus seasons in Brandon. In 28 games this season, the right-handed center has 42 points. Last year he posted 102 points in 72 games with a rating of +51. Out of Patrick’s 18 goals this season only a few are assisted by Duke. While both centers play many shifts on separate lines, they continuously show up together on Brandon’s lethal power play unit. The Wheat Kings are in the top half of the WHL, scoring 64 PP goals this season. Teaming up on special teams in Vegas could be one reason to reunite Duke and Patrick. 

Another reason to connect the two, is the Dark Knight himself. But please enough, I can’t get that freaky image of McCrimmon-BatMan out of my head. I’m digging PhiSig150’s suggestion that McCrimmon is the Golden Knight’s Tom Hagen. The former coach of Duke and Patrick has a proven history. His success winning games, developing players and assembling strong teams is the reason he was in demand. He built the current Wheat Kings roster over the past few seasons through draft picks and smart trades. Patrick and Duke were brought in to play together by McCrimmon for a reason. Does he see that working well in Las Vegas?

At this point, there is nothing to really go by but past relationships. Brayden Schenn, Mark Stone, Eric Fehr and Ryan Reaves are some connections that have been brought as potential Golden Knights. Each one of those players praise their former Brandon coach for his hand in their development. The number one trend is McCrimmon’s trust in the player and freedom to play their specific style. Patrick and Duke have also implied the same feelings. Reaves even credited his former Wheat Kings coach as being a reason for his success. The St Louis Blues forward mentioned the freedom he had up in Brandon.

McCrimmon believed in the style I play. He let me play the game and didn’t just bury me on the fourth line which is something that allowed me to blossom into a player capable of making it to the NHL. -Ryan Reaves, St Louis Blues

Many players and coaches have complimented McCrimmon’s style of playing loose and trusting players style. His player coaching style was never to force a certain style on his team. McCrimmon wanted his players to develop naturally into the skill set they naturally had. That could be another reason the Golden Knights move up for Patrick. He’s excelled as a Wheat King and is on track for the top overall draft selection. Patrick played up to his potential some would argue, because of McCrimmon’s style. Who knows if Patrick would’ve flourished if he played in Regina, Kamloops or Lethbridge. The argument also extends to Duke and his breakout season.

While this wasn’t supposed to be another article about the Dark Knight/Consigliere, it certainly ended up that way. Without McCrimmon in Brandon, Patrick might not be as appealing to Vegas. He’s clearly excelled under McCrimmon’s tutelage and it could continue at a higher level. If Vegas trades up to select Patrick fans should feel very optimistic. Patrick and Duke reuniting will only happen for one reason, McCrimmon. If the Golden Knights decide not reassemble the two, fans should be comfortable with the decision.

The Dark Knight might see Patrick as the next Joker, or Emilio Barzini… or whatever cliche adversary fits.


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  1. PhiSig 150

    Im not sure if it’s a conspiracy of epic JFK proportions (making an envelop cold or a ping pong ball slightly heavier doesn’t seem that outlandish to me) or if it’s some ancient mystical force that binds all drafts together but for some reason in sports where the draft is determined by a lottery the number one pick has a tendency to go to the team that makes the best story. Ewing going to the Knicks, Lebron to the Cavs, Rose to the Bulls, etc. was the best possible storyline for that particular offseason. So if it is indeed fixed to some degree then Fredo (Bettman) has to do us a solid. Las Vegas getting the 1st pick in the draft is the obvious “story” this summer. It’s also as Triple H likes to say “Best for business.” Even Fredo Corleone couldn’t completely fuck up Las Vegas.

    If on the other hand the draft lotto is guided by an ancient Jedi like force then I’m pretty sure the force spirits of Tark and Frank have us covered. So 1st pick is a lock. Signing his boy Duuuuuuke basically guarantees we’re getting number one. Duuuuuuuke either just adds to the story or Duuuuuuuuke will serve as the vessel through which the universe/God/our alien overlords will work their magic to ensure (Las) Vegas gets #1. Watch after all this we land #1 and end up drafting Nico (the Knight…. mind blown).

  2. James

    @PhiSig 150
    Gary Bettman wants to grow the game in America. Bettman secretly wants Vegas to win the lottery, but if the lottery was rigged hometown kid Auston Matthews would be a Arizona Coyote and superstar Connor McDavid wouldn’t ply his trade north of the border.

    • Phisig150

      You can’t completely ignore Canada and take them for granted. Arizona will get the top pick when they move to Seattle. You can make arguments/storylines of why Edmonton and Toronto got the picks they did. Arizona (Alabama of the South West) has never gotten the 1st overall pick and look at what a mess that franchisee is in. Hopefully Fredo has learned his lesson and does the right thing and rigs the next 3 or 4 drafts in our favor. I’m pretty sure we’ll be having Cavs’ type “luck” first few years. If not just shows you how incompetent the NHL is if they can’t rig things right.

  3. James

    @Jason Pothier
    Now that we know the situation, we have to ask the obvious question, is trading up for Nolan Patrick is even worth it?

    It depends on the cost. I don’t feel comfortable trading the 2018 first round pick. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov. According to Jeff Marek, Nolan Patrick is a second line center on a very good team.

    I would consider trading down if the lottery balls don’t fall our way. Patrick and Nico Hischier are the consensus two best available players in the draft. Some scouts prefer Hischier over Patrick. Some teams have Timothy Liljegren as high as 3 and other teams have him as low as 13. Might as well chanel Bill Belichick and acquire more assets if 3 through to 13 have similar draft grades. Ideally I want 2018 draft picks. 2017 is considered to be a weak draft.

    • Phisig150

      Absolutely no trading up. We need to play money puck and start the process on ice. Accumulate as many picks next 3 years as possible. 1st season is the honeymoon season anyway. Next year’s and the year after #1s are much more valuable to have. It’s a moot point anyway since us landing the 1st pick is a 99.5% probability.

      • James

        It depends on the cost of doing business. I would consider trading up if we remain third or fall even lower. Sometimes it makes sense to trade up. Do you think the Patriots regret trading up for Rob Gronkowski? Quality over quantity. Apparently players will be drafted in the first round that don’t merit a first round grade. From what I gather this draft is barren after round 3. Less talent than usual.

        I was intrigued by Ken’s radical idea of drafting Patrick and Hischier. Given the uncertainty, I would consider trading the 2018 first round pick for Patrick or Hischier. I would hate to give up a top three pick in a stronger draft, but we have no idea where we will be picking. Quite the gamble indeed.

        • Phisig150

          The Pats usually trade down and stockpile more picks. 2018 by all accounts is going to a much stronger draft and I’m assuming we’ll have the worst record in the league so we’ll have a much better shot at landing the #1 or 2 pick in that draft. This year the excitment of the team is simply having a team. Next year the buzz will be having the top pick.

          Bettman at our last Las Vegas Free Masons 33rd degree meeting (All Hail the NHL Illuminati) said we’ll be getting the next three #1s so don’t worry. That’s why the team is the Golden Knights to begin with just like the dollar bill it’s all Free Mason/Knights Templar imagery. That’s why we’ll win the Cup year 3 in the year 2021. 3×7=21. 7=G or Golden 11= K or Knight (important in Masonic Occultic Numerology). It’s so blatantly obvious.

          • PhiSig 150

            Also consider this fact there are 18 letters in Vegas Golden Knights. 18 or 6+6+6. So of course the name has to be Vegas without the Las. The name was unveiled on 11/22 or 33 as in 33 degree Mason. Coincidence??? I think not! I’m going to go pre-order that Patrick (7 letters just like Knights!!) jersey now. I’m guessing he’ll be wearing the number 33.

  4. James

    @PhiSig 150
    ‘Signing his boy Duuuuuuke basically guarantees we’re getting number one. Duuuuuuuke either just adds to the story or Duuuuuuuuke will serve as the vessel through which the universe/God/our alien overlords will work their magic to ensure (Las) Vegas gets #1.’

    Harvard captain Alexander Kerfoot is a name to look out for according to Bob McKenzie. He played on the same line as New York Ranger Jimmy Vesey. I believe teams can sign college free agents in mid August.

    McKenzie thinks Vegas is holding out to speak with Lindy Ruff. He thinks it’s a three horse race between Capuano, Gallant and Ruff if he becomes available. From what I gather, Foley is friends with Ruff. I believe they both reside in Montana during the offseason and Foley has leaned on Ruff for advise in the past.

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