Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP

By: Joe Travia | Follow me on Twitter @NHLJoeTravia

Trent Frederic seemed like a guy who was having an identity crisis. After an admittedly ineffective preseason where he was seemingly passed on the depth chart by A.J. Greer and Jakub Lauko, Frederic found himself in the press box for the opening night game against the Washington Capitals. It did not take long for Frederic to be reinserted back into the lineup, however, and he did so with a message from new Head Coach Jim Montgomery: ‘hunt and hit.’

Though he wasn’t credited with any hits (those stats are always questionable), Frederic left his mark on the game in a positive way. Playing on a line with Charlie Coyle and the aforementioned Greer, Frederic displayed that style of play that made him a popular figure when he first arrived in Boston. He mixed it up after whistles without getting penalized. He chipped in offensively with an assist on Coyle’s goal following a retrieval of a loose puck in the neutral zone.

In a move that was certainly popular amongst his Bruins teammates, Frederic took on Liam O’Brien in a fight early in the second period. O’Brien had knocked defenseman Brandon Carlo out of the game with a hit at the end of the first period, and Frederic made sure to let him know that wasn’t going to fly. All in all, Frederic finished the night with one assist and two blocks and was a plus-three in 12:29 of time-on-ice. It was the brand of hockey that Frederic needs to utilize in order to be an effective NHL player.

Frederic got away from this play style far too often last season. A controversial first-round pick in 2016 ahead of names like Jordan Kyrou and Alex DeBrincat, it seems at times like Frederic can become more focused on living up to that draft pedigree than being the most effective player possible. At this point, it is highly unlikely that Frederic can become a top-six power forward in the mold of Tom Wilson or old friend Milan Lucic. Jim Montgomery has given him the recipe to be an every-game player who can make an impact for the Bruins this season, though: hunt and hit.