Things didn’t end as well as they started for Boston Bruins rookie power forward Trent Frederic, but he’s excited at the possibilities moving forward.
The 23-year-old Frederic finished with four goals and five points along with 65 penalty minutes and a minus-8 in 42 games during his first full season at the NHL level, and got Bruins fans excited when he dropped the gloves and held his own with Washington tough guy Tom Wilson among others.
But then the strapping, physical Frederic was a healthy scratch in the playoffs after playing sparingly down the stretch. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Frederic had trouble shaking a non-COVID illness that kept him out for an extended period of time and played just six games after the Bruins traded for fourth line center Curtis Lazar at the NHL trade deadline.
Even when Lazar got hurt and Jake DeBrusk was scratched in the Stanley Cup playoffs, it was Karson Kuhlman that had his name called for postseason duty rather than a guy in Frederic that could have been a physical presence in the playoffs.
All of that led Frederic to admit that he has “a lot more to offer” moving forward for the Black and Gold after signing a two-year contract last weekend with a cap hit of $1.05 million.
“For sure, [this season was] getting my feet wet. I think this was just the beginning for my hockey career, and I think I have a lot more to offer. Obviously, I was disappointed that we didn’t make it and that we’re not playing right now,” said Frederic. “Obviously, I wanted to help out as well. But everything happens for a reason and sometimes it’s out of your control and you just have to keep working hard and work for the next day.
I think it was a good year. I think I came out hot. I’m sure there’s points where I wasn’t as good of a player as I wanted to be and there’s times where I played well. I thought overall it was a good season. It was a bummer we came up short, but overall, it was a good season. What I need to work on is probably just my skating, more confidence with the puck. Making that right play with confidence, I guess.”
The skating is a big component for Frederic as he’ll need to generate more speed to land more heavy hits on the forecheck that should become part of his bread and butter.
Frederic will need to get through the NHL expansion draft next month where there’s a pretty decent chance he’ll go unprotected, but the expectation among Bruins sources is it will be a Boston defenseman taken by the Seattle Kraken rather than a bottom-6 guy like Frederic.
Either way, Frederic should be even more of an identity player for the Boston Bruins next season and beyond as he settles into a heavy, physical role that will continue to make him a fan favorite with the Black and Gold.