While the Boston Bruins and their fans would love for 6-foot-2, 203-pound 22-year-old rookie Trent Frederic to become a physical presence and mainstay on the 2021 Bruins roster this coming season, they may have to settle for his rock-em-sock-em game in doses.
In the last couple of weeks and even more so, since the 2021 NHL Return and season was made official last Sunday, one of the burning Boston Bruins questions posed to Boston Hockey Now on social media has been if Frederic will be eligible for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft for the league’s newest addition, the Seattle Kraken?
Frederic played just two NHL games with the Boston Bruins last season and just 15 games in 2018-19. According to PuckPedia though, even though he’s still considered a rookie, he could be exposed next July 17 when Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney and the 30 other current NHL GM’s must submit their protection list. Thanks to the truncated 56-game season, Frederic would only need to play just under half the season to be exposed to the Kraken and taken in the July 21 expansion draft.
“If he plays 27 (prorated from 40), he would qualify for the minimum exposure requirements by the team, but he is not exempt, he’s eligible, he played his first pro season in 2018-19,” our salary cap friends at PuckPedia replied in a direct message on Twitter.
Frederic made his Boston Bruins debut back on January 29, 2019 and it was a memorable introduction to the Garden faithful who still embrace fighting and lunch pale hockey. The former Wisconsin Badgers star came to the defense of then Bruins alternate captain David Backes in a second period skirmish in front of the net. As he was doing so, then Winnipeg Jets winger Brandon Tanev grabbed Frederic and the rookie dropped the gloves with the 6-foot, 180-pound and then 28-year-old veteran. Frederic more than held his own in his first NHL bout and left the TD Garden crowd rocking.
Heading into last season, Boston Bruins fans were clamoring for more old-school hockey from Frederic but he would play just two games in the NHL with no fights. He did however mix it up quite often down in Providence and the AHL, dropping the gloves eight times and amassing 148 penalty minutes. There was hope that a Bruins squad void of such a physical and threatening presence, would be able to use him in the playoffs, specifically against a heavy team like the Tampa Bay Lightning but Frederic ended up contracting the COVID before he arrived in Boston for the brief training camp prior to the Bruins playing in the Toronto bubble.
So while the Bruins got physically dominated by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, losing to the Lightning in five games, their potential physical x-factor had to watch from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. That experience left Frederic hungry and determined to make the Bruins roster out of another shortened camp that’s slated to begin on January 3 at Warrior Arena in Brighton, MA. Frederic believes he’s learned a lot in his first two years of pro hockey (NHL and AHL) and to make sure there’s no chance of COVID or anything else delaying his start to camp, he arrived in Boston back in early December and has been participating in informal skates with Bruins teammates.
“I’m pretty excited,” Frederic told the Boston Herald on December 15. “And probably like everyone else, I’m just excited to play hockey and get back in the mix again.”