Between now and the start of training camp, Boston Hockey is now working on profiling players who will participate in, or have a chance to join, the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Player of the Day: Trent Frederick.
Social media handles: Instagram (Lord save her)
What happened last year: Frederick, 24, had his best season in the National Hockey League to date and amassed a career high with eight goals, 18 points plus 10 points in 60 games. He’s had some epic encounters with players like Tom Wilson, Bek Suban and Alex Ovechkin, and has spent the first half of last season teasing opponents and stirring things up.
It was clear that Frederick had worked on his shot to make it more dangerous at the NHL level, and there were many nights when his physique, excitement, and other parts of his game seemed to match up with the sixth bottom inning he created for himself.
Trent Frederick smiling and having a great time fighting Tom Wilson will be ingrained in my memory forever. pic.twitter.com/YlIWr2HtUa
– Alex (@bigbadbruins73) March 6, 2021
But there were also some penalty issues along the way and at other times I felt the previous first-round pick needed a better sense of when to start problems, when to back off when he might get his team into penalty trouble and when to pick his points between.
There were points later in the season when Frederick got scratched after having some penalty-game issues and only played in four of his seven first-round playoff games against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a good step forward to develop Frederic into an NHL player, but there is still plenty of room for growth for a player that could be the heavy attacking presence Boston has been missing since leaving Milan Lucic.
Questions to be answered this season: Frederick’s journey as a player is all about continuing to see how much better he can attack, and how well he feels he can land the exciting body-like role of a physical enforcer who is best suited to him at the NHL level. Sure, Lucik won’t be another Boston Bruins as mentioned above, but he can be more of a factor when it comes to intimidating opponents and taking them out of their games and Stand up and defend your teammates When things go a little wrong on the ice.
It’s hard to ask a 24-year-old to find the job at the NHL level against some of the biggest, strongest and toughest houses on the ice, but it was a former first-round pick that should come with a lot of anticipation. It’s not unrealistic to expect Frederick to score double-digit goals and somewhere in the 30-50 point range at his absolute base level in the NHL, but that might be for a few seasons so far in Boston.
The biggest question Frederick needs to answer is exactly what kind of player he will be. Is he totally committed to the kind of things that will make him effective at the NHL level, or is he still hoping to be a top 6 skill guy because he was in the first round five or six years ago?
In their words: “What I would like to do more is just have impacting games. There have been a lot of matches, even in these qualifiers, where I felt I had no impact on the game. It’s not just about scoring. Some of my best matches didn’t have a goal or Help, but that’s what I want to do more.” — Trent Frederick, on the day the Boston Bruins break up in May.
Overview: Frederick has been selected to be among the top 12 strikers this season and brings the kind of size, strength and fitness that isn’t quite there up front, so there should be plenty of opportunities for him. He will need to show that he can balance the discipline aspect of his role, but if he can do that and continue to ramp up his presence at the front, bigger and better things are waiting for him.
There’s no reason why Frederick shouldn’t be a staple in Boston’s third streak next season, and a mid-group season could be really interesting if Frederick, Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha Gill enter a big-body cycling streak capable of undermining opponents. Playing a game of discus possession and giving Boston something they haven’t had enough of for the past few seasons.
Individually, Frederick must become the emotional/energy player who drags the Boston Bruins into combat and continues to lighten the burden that Brad Marchand has on his shoulders for being that man day and night. Certainly, it will be a big part of Frederick’s expectations for the start of next season when Marchand recovers from thigh surgery.
If Frederick can improve his offensive numbers, claim a regular role in the top 9, and become the kind of physical player in the Boston Bruins, he will be on the right track.