The Bruins need Frederic to make a jump in the 2022-23 season
The Bruins need Frederic to make a jump in the 2022-23 season

The Bruins need Frederic to make a jump in the 2022-23 season

The Boston Bruins need Trent Frederic to make a big leap next season, or the two sides may run out of time together.

Trent Frederic could be entering his last chance with the Boston Bruins as his development hasn’t exactly gone the way the team would have hoped at this point in his career. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

When the team selected Frederic 29th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, many eyebrows were raised and questions were asked; Frederic wasn’t expected to be a first-round pick and his long-term projections were hazy at best. Despite this fact, the native of St. Louis managed to turn some heads during his time at the University of Wisconsin and slowly change the narrative about his future.

Fast forward to the 2022-23 offseason and a few NHL seasons under his belt, and Frederic, while finding his way into the NHL lineup somewhat regularly over the past two seasons, has yet to fully establish himself as a reliable player in a game. – the perspective of the game. Frederic has improved his shot at the NHL level and certainly brings a level of snarl and physicality to the team that the Bruins appear to be interested in. His intensity is palpable and the energy he brings to the table is priceless to say the least. . It’s hard to ignore the positives that have come with Frederic’s game as he’s continued to develop, but it’s also impossible to ignore the negatives that have come along with it.

Frederic isn’t a bad player, but his performance teeters on the line between fearless and reckless, making him a prime candidate if he fails to play smarter under new head coach Jim Montgomery. Realistically, that’s not the direction the Bruins would like to go, as Frederic has certainly shown flashes in his short NHL career. Still, at 24, the clock is ticking on Frederic’s future in Boston if things don’t improve.

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It is not the lack of production that escalates the situation, but rather the reckless tendencies mentioned above, which often lead to wrong and wrong penalties. Although a player like Brad Marchand has also been known to get out of hand and make blatantly stupid and sometimes even dangerous plays, at least Marchand also contributes as one of the best lefties on the planet. Frederic, on the other hand, has yet to earn a longer leash.

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Rather than being labeled a trade target, however, the hope is that Frederic can be viewed as an x-factor heading into next season, largely because of the energy he brings to the table.

Frederic could buy himself more time with the Bruins

Frederic will need to make a conscious effort to play a smarter brand of hockey next season while also trying to improve his offensive production. That’s not out of the question either, as during the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder’s time alongside Charlie Coyle on the Bruins’ third line, Frederic has actually shown some chemistry and production in the past. Unfortunately, the Bruins don’t seem willing to wait to see if this productive brand of hockey was more than a flash-in-the-pan, hence their trade to acquire forward Pavel Zacha.

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The newly acquired Bruins forward may have primarily played center throughout his career, but he plans to slot in at left wing for the Bruins, at least in the short term, with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci in tow — from because of this, Frederic will likely figure as a fourth line player next season once the team is fully healthy.

This doesn’t mean the team has completely given up on Frederic’s development, but it does mean they’re looking to hedge their bets and go for more safety. He will have to light a fire under Frederic.

Trent Frederic, Boston Bruins
Trent Frederic will get a chance to play alongside new Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery next season. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Frederic’s future of being destined to play on the fourth line next season could change, of course, if he can perform well early in the season. At that point, the Bruins will look to remain competitive despite a slew of injuries, including one to the team’s first-line left wing in Marchand, hampering what is expected to be the first few months of the season. With the opportunity to play in the front nine to start the season in front of him, as well as develop under a new head coach in a completely new system, Frederic will have to do everything he can to show that he is worth keeping.

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The Bruins are likely heading into relatively uncharted territory after this season, with the futures of Bergeron and Krejci completely up in the air after this year. Because of this, the Bruins could opt to give Frederic a longer look than just this season, with very little to lose and potentially a lot to gain as a result. However, it’s unclear if the team will just look to offload Frederic for some sort of value in return rather than let him continue to flounder in Boston without a clear roadmap for his development . Of course, this is largely dependent on his ability to err on the side of caution and separate himself from his reputation as a penalty-heavy player. The lack of production can be fixed, but bad penalties change the game and not in a positive way.

Only time will tell what the long-term future looks like between the Bruins and Frederic, but his performance in training camp and to start the 2022-23 season should be closely watched as he looks to enter a pivotal season in his development.