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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: Nolan Patrick poses for photos 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 Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

You have to love revisionist history. The year is 2017! The Flyers had the #2 overall pick and with that selection they selected Nolan Patrick, a center from the Brandon Wheat Kings. Nolan Patrick was the consensus #2 overall pick at the time. This wasn’t a reach. He was coming off a shortened season but the previous year he had 102 points in 72 games.

But Nolan Patrick never seemed to hit his stride with the Flyers. He dealt with injuries, but when he was healthy he wasn’t very good. While he is just 23, it is fair to say that Nolan Patrick is a bust. In retrospect the Flyers would’ve loved to draft either Cale Makar (4th overall) or Elias Pettersson (5th overall) but that is revisionist history. Busts happen all the time.

INSERT “Bitter” Bobby Clarke.

Clarke recently went on the Cam and Strick podcast and discussed the Ron Hextall era. And while initially it was a horrible look, it also REEKS.

“None of our scouts wanted Patrick they wanted Makar,” Clarke told the guys. “Hextall made that choice himself, and there were other choices made in our draft that were paying for. Weve got two or three first round picks that are never going to play. Thats why were struggling.”

What is truly amazing is stories like this come out every once in a while. A former GM goes on a podcast or does an interview where he tells you about a trade, or a draft that “could’ve been.” But here is the thing. Its ALWAYS “we didn’t want (insert bust) we wanted (insert super star). But this idiot torpedoed the franchise….IDIOT.”

Really? So you mean to tell me that NO ONE…NOT ONE SCOUT wanted Nolan Patrick? There was a unified front in the Flyers draft room to take a player who eventually became one of, if not the best defensemen in the league? And Ron Hextall went ROGUE and drafted a guy who busted? Wow….what an unfortunate series of events. The story would honestly be more believable had Clark  said the scouts wanted Miro Heiskanen who went 3rd overall to Dallas. But Miro Heiskanen, while being a decent player, isn’t a superstar.

And the fact is, while Clarke would love for you to believe that the Flyers had the only miss in that draft, they didn’t. The 2017 draft is full of underachievers, ESPECIALLY in the top 10.

  1. Nico Hischier is a nice player, but he was taken #1
  2. Nolan Patrick has been a major bust
  3. Miro Heiskanen, as I said, is a nice player but not a super star
  4. Cale Makar is amazing
  5. Elias Pettersson is a stud
  6. Cody Glass has been a disappointment
  7. Lias Andersson has been a major bust
  8. Casey Mittelstadt has yet to live up to the 8th overall pick
  9. Michael Rasmussen hasnt revitalized the Redwings
  10. And Owen Tippett has yet to capture his scoring ways from juniors

that’s your top 10 draft picks from 2017. 6 out of 10 players you could make the case for getting the “bust” tag.

The fact is, I have no idea if the story is real or not, but boy do I have my doubts. Bobby Clarke sounds like a bitter old man who is angry his opinion wasn’t taken into account when the draft rolled around. So he told Ron Hextall to get under the bust and then he drove over it. Do I think that there were some scouts in the room that wanted Cale Makar? Of course! He was taken 4th overall! But I also think there were plenty of scouts who wanted Miro Heiskanen and plenty who wanted Nolan Patrick.

So before you get all upset, just remember that this happens and its ALWAYS “we tried to trade (insert player past his prime) for (a prospect who became a star.) Its never “We didnt want to draft (player who became a bust) we all wanted to take (an average at best player.) And its always made by former GM’s who werent very good at their jobs.