Loads has modified for Trent Frederic over the previous yr.
Final season, the pugnacious ahead spent most of his shifts on a line subsequent to Charlie Coyle and Taylor Corridor — two forwards with over 1,600 mixed video games of NHL expertise.
However in the beginning of the 2023-24 marketing campaign, the 25-year-old Frederic discovered himself in unfamiliar territory. For the primary time in years, the Bruins ahead was the elder statesman on his line subsequent to 19-year-old Matt Poitras and Morgan Geekie — who’s 5 months youthful than Frederic.
“In school, I used to be by no means [the oldest]. Windfall? I don’t assume I ever was,” Frederic mentioned whereas rolling by means of his psychological rolodex of earlier linemates. “Yeah, I believe it’s my first time in a very long time. … It’s actually bizarre. As a result of final yr, Halsey and Chuck had like 800 video games every within the league. I used to observe them rising up, it’s totally different.”
On a Boston roster nonetheless anchored by seven veterans with a minimum of 500 video games of NHL reps, Jim Montgomery isn’t searching for a participant like Frederic to make a sudden shift right into a vocal chief in Boston’s bottom-six corps, a minimum of not but.
However recent off of a breakout season in 2022-23, Montgomery and the Bruins imagine that Frederic is on the cusp of unlocking one other gear as a play-driver additional down on Boston’s depth chart.
“I’ve simply seen him so far as the place he was final yr to this yr, he’s a far more assertive hockey participant,” Montgomery mentioned of Frederic’s development. “And I believe he’s simply much more assured hockey participant and it’s displaying how he’s taking the puck and skating with it extra this yr and seeking to create offense extra on his personal.”
Frederic’s growth from a fourth-line scrapper right into a two-way contributor on the third line performed a significant function in Boston’s surge of depth scoring throughout final yr’s record-setting run.
Not solely did the previous first-round decide set career-highs in each objectives (17) and factors (31) whereas nonetheless doling out 105 hits, however he was arguably probably the most impactful bottom-six forwards at 5v5 play throughout the NHL.
Throughout 5v5 motion, he averaged 1.09 objectives per 60 minutes of play, per Pure Stat Trick. Solely David Pastrnak (1.72) Jake DeBrusk (1.51) and Jakub Lauko (1.23) carried out higher on the Bruins — with that 1.09 price rating seventieth among the many 738 NHL skaters with a minimum of 150 minutes of 5v5 ice time.
However on the other facet of the ice, Frederic thrived as a defensive stopper. Regardless of having simply 42.7 p.c of his on-ice begins set within the offensive zone throughout 5v5 play, the Bruins nonetheless held an absurd 47-23 edge in objectives scored when Frederic was out on a shift final season.
On a Bruins group whose strengths this season will probably be rooted of their defensive fortitude, Frederic stands as a key piece of the puzzle due to his two-way acumen that flourished final season subsequent to Coyle and Corridor.
“There’s stuff I took away from each Charlie and Taylor final yr,” Frederic mentioned. “They’re each good guys. And I used to be all the time asking questions like, ‘How do you do that? Or what’s your thought course of while you’ve obtained that?’ Some individuals perhaps don’t need me to ask these questions on a regular basis, however they had been all the time guys that had been attempting to assist and educate me.
“I believe while you try this again and again, you begin to be taught from the fellows which can be profitable. No matter that could be, if that’s Hallsy pulling up, if that’s Charlie with puck defending, all that stuff.”
Frederic’s mix of dimension and talent makes him a coveted participant, particularly in right this moment’s NHL. However together with Frederic’s propensity to dole punishment and stout D-zone work, Montgomery believes that Frederic is starting to showcase much more offensive capabilities.
His 6-foot-3 body can come in useful throughout netfront screens, suggestions, and rebounds — as was the case throughout his opening tally towards the Blackhawks on Oct 11.
However together with an efficient (and infrequently underutilized) wrist shot, Montgomery believes that Frederic’s potential to protect the puck down low and willingness to go into Grade-A ice could make him a participant eager on producing loads of high-danger scoring probabilities — each as the primary man in on the forecheck or because the F3 ahead working larger up within the slot.
“They’re each actually good five-on-five under the highest gamers,” Montgomery mentioned of a reworked third line of Frederic, Coyle and James van van Riemsdyk on Monday. “They’re each good defensively as properly. So if I need to, I can match them up towards one other group’s finest offensive line. However most significantly, the O-zone time that they play properly collectively.
“And I believe a man like van Riemsdyk actually helps them join the dots there as a result of he likes going to the web entrance. Charlie likes to own it. And Freddie does a very good job of getting open because the F3 and taking pictures it.”
A reunion with Coyle, beginning with Thursday’s highway sport towards the Sharks, ought to additional bolster Frederic’s sport.
Such a lineup reshuffle offers Montgomery the choice of deploying a puck-possession third line able to negating different top-six matchups. But it surely additionally permits Frederic to construct off the already spectacular outcomes he cast final season subsequent to Coyle.
And if final yr represented only a trace of Frederic’s full potential, the Bruins may have a possible trump card in place on their bottom-six unit shifting ahead.
“I believe we gel very well,” Frederic mentioned of taking part in with Coyle. “I don’t know if he’s simply a straightforward man to play with. He talks properly. He’s simple to learn off, simply the best way he performs is extra straight line. He’s a extremely good participant however he’s by no means gonna do something like a spin-around.
“Like he would possibly, however for me, he’s simple to learn. When he has the puck, I do know the place to go. So it’s why I actually like taking part in with him and like I mentioned, he’s only a good man, very optimistic, all the time instructing me little stuff about puck defending or no matter he sees on the market.”
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