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Flyers’ top pick Nolan Patrick aims to resume skating next week

2017 NHL Draft - Round One

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Nolan Patrick is interviewed after being selected second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Nolan Patrick wasn’t able to get on the ice during the Philadelphia Flyers’ development camp, but he expects to make some big strides as early as next week.

And those strides might finally be made without pain, at least in his lower stomach.

The second pick of the 2017 NHL Draft discussed his decision to undergo additional surgery on a sports hernia before the picks were made, buying himself two weeks of time this off-season. That proactive approach could be key as Patrick continues to push to make the 2017-18 roster right out of the gate.

(You can see Patrick’s demeanor lift when he states that he should be able to skate without pain for the first time in about a year and a half.)

MORE: Flyers will give Patrick a chance to make the team right out of the draft

Patrick went into greater detail about the injury, as Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post reports.

“It’s mostly a sharp pain in skating,” Patrick said. “That was the main thing that bothered me. My skating couldn’t get to where it needed to be and you get tired quickly. It’s tough to explain but it’s a sharp shooting pain in your lower stomach. I had it on both sides for a while there. I got one side fixed and then was having issues on that side again.”

Sounds like the sort of thing that might hurt your numbers (and maybe even, say, your draft stock).

With the Flyers leaving key spots to young players rather than free agents, many believe that such a stance implies that Patrick will be ready to go. Being close to full-strength right out of the gate is key, then, for Patrick to make the necessary first impression.

So far, so good.