Since 2010, 2nd overall picks in the NHL Draft have lived up to their expectations. Many have even outperformed the only pick chosen before them. It’s not the 1st selection of a draft but it’s an immensely valuable one. Screw up the 2nd pick in the draft and it’ll cost future results and ultimately jobs. So, it’s no surprise the Golden Knights took a chance on the 2nd overall selection from four years ago.
Second Overall Pick Since 2010
2010: Tyler Seguin BOS (6x All Star, Cup Winner)
2011: Gabriel Landeskog COL (ROY)
2012: Ryan Murray CBJ (395 NHL games)
2013: Aleksander Barkov FLA (Byng, Selke)
2014: Sam Reinhart BUF (295 NHL points)
2015: Jack Eichel BUF (3x All Star)
2016: Patrick Laine WPG (All Star)
2017: Nolan Patrick PHI (70 NHL points)
2018: Andrei Svechinikov CAR (140 NHL points)
2019: Kaapo Kakko NYR (40 NHL points)
2020: Quintin Byfield LAK
2021: Matthew Beniers SEA
As you can see there haven’t been many busts, if any, over the last decade or so. From 2010-2016, seven 2nd overall picks have combined for 12 All-Star Game appearances, three All-Rookie Team nods, a Calder Award, a Lady Byng, Selke and most importantly, a Stanley Cup ring. Add in 2018’s second overall selection Andrei Svechinikov quick start to his career, and the odds look bright for the newest Golden Knights center.
The front office and scouts are hoping Patrick’s lottery pick talent will come to life in Las Vegas. It’s too soon to count out Patrick because it didn’t work out in Philadelphia. Underperforming for the Flyers isn’t a concern for the Golden Knights front office, acquiring a young player with high pick potential was their intention.
Golden Knights fans shouldn’t view Patrick as a clean flip for Cody Glass. Vegas expected their 2017 1st round pick to contribute nightly on the power play. Eventually, coach Pete DeBoer wasn’t seeing enough impact to keep Glass in his lineup. While Vegas still searches for that man-advantage improvement it won’t necessarily come from Patrick. Last season with the Flyers the center registered an unsettling three power play points, plus the organization traded for forward Evengi Dadonov to address their PP struggles. Patrick has shown an ability to contribute on special teams in the past, but his biggest impact on the Golden Knights will likely come in other areas.
It shouldn’t be difficult for the 22-year-old to pick up the style Vegas’ head coach desires. Patrick can throw his weight around, has the ability to make plays in the offensive zone, which the Golden Knights desperately need from their bottom six, and rifle a one-timer through traffic. In three seasons the puck hasn’t found the net much but playing under DeBoer and skating with an abundance of Vegas’ weapons should increase Patrick’s cookie count.
Linemates, minutes, and responsibilities will be decided later this month in training camp but whatever role he lands Patrick will likely improve with Vegas. Let’s be honest, if the Golden Knights get a player that can consistently stay in DeBoer’s lineup and occasionally contribute in big moments the offseason trade will go down as a massive success.