Nolan Patrick
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Nolan Patrick

Nolan Patrick will attract plenty of attention leading into the NHL Entry Draft in June. 

It shouldn't be too overwhelming.

After all, the center for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League is surrounded by a family of exceptional athletes who have experienced the spotlight.

Patrick might struggle to locate good video evidence of his father, Stephen, and his uncle, James, in their respective NHL heydays, but the pedigree is evident.

"I have an old VHS tape that's pretty scratched up, but that's about it," Stephen Patrick said. "But Nolan is confident in his game and extremely smart on the ice. That didn't come from me. That's him."

Don't let dad fool you.

The advice and encouragement Nolan has received has been invaluable. His mother, Carrie, who played volleyball at the University of Winnipeg and for the Canadian national team, probably is the best athlete of the bunch.

Nolan, 18, has a great command of the game, knows where to be on the ice and has a businesslike demeanor when discussing his responsibility as the second-youngest captain in the WHL.

He also realizes the expectations associated with being No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

Even so, Patrick understands that no player selected is given a free pass onto an NHL roster. "I want to be the best player I can be, and if that means going No. 1, then so be it," Patrick said.

Then, the real work of building an NHL career begins.

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Nolan Patrick