By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
As the Boston Bruins prepare for the final offseason events and get ready for the upcoming 2018-2019 NHL regular season, the team’s AHL affiliate franchise, the Providence Bruins, are also getting ready for another season – especially some key young players. One of those young players is St. Louis, Missouri native, Trent Frederic.
Frederic was drafted twenty-ninth overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, but it was not just a simple draft pick for the B’s. On June 26th, 2015, the Boston Bruins traded long-time forward Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for goaltender Martin Jones, defenceman Colin Miller, and the pick thirteen in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (Jakub Zboril).
However, it would not end there. Four days later after acquiring Martin Jones, the Bruins would trade the goalie to the San Jose Sharks, deciding on running with Tuukka Rask instead of Jones. Coming back to the Bruins from San Jose, forward Sean Kuraly and the Sharks’ first-round draft pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The Sharks would make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016 but would fall short of the ultimate hockey trophy in a series loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This would give the Bruins the 29th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, their second one of the opening round. Boston would select defenceman Charlie McAvoy with their first pick, so a forward near the end of the round would seem to be a solid draft for the Black and Gold. As we now know, Trent Frederic would be that 29th selection. But two years after the draft, is Frederic close to making the National Hockey League?
In the 2016 NHL Final Central Scouting Rankings for North American Skaters and Goaltenders, Frederic was ranked down at the 49th overall pick, but the Bruins did not have a selection until pick forty-nine and did not want to risk losing out on the 6’3″ forward.
“We really needed a big centerman,” head of amateur scouting Keith Gretzky said. “At 29, we just said, ‘Hey, this is a guy that we really wanted,’ and we didn’t want to risk waiting until 49. It’s a need and we believe he’s going to play. Yeah, it’s high, but you take a chance. We believe in his ability. He’s going to a good school and a good program and he’s going to take some time.” Frederic will play for the University of Wisconsin in 2016-17. (Quote found from Boston Herald)
And just as the head of amateur scouting, Keith Gretzky stated, Frederic would indeed play the 2016-2017 campaign for the University of Wisconsin. In 30 games with the U of W, Frederic amounted fifteen goals and eighteen assists for thirty-three points. At season’s end, he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the first Wisconsin Badger to earn the honors since Dany Heatley in 1999-2000. Frederic also finished fourth among all college freshman in points-per-game, (1.18) and was second for most shorthanded goals on the season with five.
The performance impressed the Bruins management, as Gretzky would once again say in an article by the Boston Herald back in the Summer of 2017.
“He plays top line at Wisconsin. … Obviously, time will tell what he’ll be in pro hockey but there’s more skill to his game than people thought coming out of the draft,” Bruins player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner said. The Bruins went off the board when they took Frederic but it looks like that might pay off for them in the end.
For the second-straight season, Frederic would play with the University of Wisconsin, scoring another thirty-two points in 36 games. Once his time with Wisconsin came to a close, the Bruins offered Trent a three-year, entry-level contract – allowing him to play with the Providence Bruins or the Boston Bruins. In addition, Frederic would join Providence for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign on an amateur tryout agreement.
Frederic played in only thirteen games with Boston’s AHL affiliate team, scoring five goals and eight points. However, his highlight performance of 2018 was during the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York. Although the United States lost the opportunity to play in the Gold Medal game following a 4-2 loss to Sweden in the Semi-Finals.
In the Bronze Medal game against the Czech Republic, the United States scored nine goals, four of which came off of Trent Frederic’s stick. His four goals in one game nearly set a new record for most goals by an American in a single World Junior Championships game. Wally Chapman (vs Switzerland 1984) and Chris Bourque (vs Norway in 2005) are the only Americans with more goals in a single game, scoring five.
With the international success and the brief experience in the American Hockey League under his belt, Frederic could very well contend with a bigger role in Providence for the upcoming 2018-19 regular season. In an article published by Black N’ Gold Founder Mark Allred, Mark and Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast co-host, Josh Bemis discussed their Providence Bruins lineup predictions. It should be noted that Josh covers the Baby B’s on thesinbin.net website, a great site for minor-pro hockey news.
Bemis’s Roster Projections
Cehlarik – Frederic – Szwarz
Koppanen – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Bakos / Kuhlman
Gabrielle – Cave – Senyshyn
Blidh – Hughes – McNeil
Zboril – Goloubef
Lauzon – Clifton
Breen – Vaakanainen / Johansson
Allred’s Roster Projections
Cehlarik – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Bakos / Szwarz
Koppanen – Frederic – Senyshyn
Gabrielle – Cave / Kuhlman – Fitzgerald
Blidh – Hughes – McNeil
Zboril – Clifton
Lauzon – Andersson /Johansson
Sherman / Vaakanainen – Goloubef / Breen
In both predictions, Frederic makes the top-six and while nothing is final of course, the thought of Frederic getting the ice-time going forward makes a lot of sense for not only him but the P-Bruins franchise. Providence is also looking to rebound after a tough first-round loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
At the current moment in time, the Boston Bruins have a solid amount of depth at the center position with the likes of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Ryan Donato, David Backes, and Sean Kuraly who already have spots on the NHL roster, as well as players like Jack Studnicka, Jakub Forsbacka-Karlsson, Oskar Steen, and Ryan Fitzgerald who are already in the system.
There is a chance that if Trent Frederic impresses this season, he could make the final cut in the years to come when it comes to the big show in Boston. Until then, he will look to have another solid season to add onto the already promising future.