Player: Trent Frederic
Last Season: Providence Bruins (AHL)
Stats: 59 games played | 8 goals, 24 assists | 148 penalty minutes
Acquired: 2016 Draft – 1st round, 29th overall
Something that the Bruins have been lacking ever since the end of the famed ‘Merlot line’ was a forward who can serve as an enforcer while also picking up the slack on offense. Gregory Campbell made a living off this. Despite just 187 points in 803 regular-season games, his work ethic and physicality allowed him to stick around. Much of the same can be said about Frederic.
It was another instance in which Boston maybe got a little over-anxious and nabbed a player well-ahead of where he was slated to be selected. While he was never a huge scorer in junior hockey for the U.S. National Team Development Program, he took on a scoring role as Wisconsin where he spent two seasons as a top-line forward. Frederic has seen his role shift back to a more physical, fringe-scoring style since turning pro. And while it might be a questionable role for a first-rounder, Frederic’s versatility and size allows him to still be effective despite what may amount to being a low scoring output.
In 17 NHL games, Frederic has yet to record a point while tallying 15 penalty minutes, including his first fight. One number that has hurt his chances for NHL ice time is his plus-minus – currently a paltry minus-5 despite time on two conference-leading squads. On a positive note, Frederic came into his own with Providence this season, recording a career-high in points, though he must decrease his time in the penalty box if he wants a real shot with Boston.
Given the Bruins depth at forward organizationally, Frederic may have to bide his time again to start next season. But if he is to get off to a stronger start, he’ll likely get his chance for Boston – especially now with Danton Heinen, David Backes, and potentially Joakim Nordstrom playing elsewhere next season.
Projection for next year: Splits the year again between Providence and Boston, ultimately earning his spot on the NHL roster by year’s end.