By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

Through two games this season, it appears head coach Jim Montgomery is counting on Trent Frederic to take on a bigger role. The Boston Bruins forward is coming off the most productive season of his career and looks to take another step in the 2023-24 season.

Frederic had 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points last season, all career highs. But aside from point production, the former first-round pick looks to add more elements to his game.

He was slotted in as the third-line left wing to start the year, but after Montgomery juggled up the lines at practice the last two days, he’s been moved over to the right wing. James Van Riemsdyk was on the left, and Charlie Coyle at center. Frederic played the majority of last season with Coyle, so the two have prior chemistry.

However, the thing that has stood out through the first two games for the former University of Wisconsin Badger is that he’s getting time on the penalty kill. Frederic only averaged 0:28 on the penalty kill last season and played a total of 36:25. He only played 0:36 down a man in the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. The second game against the Nashville Predators was a different story. 

In his 200th career NHL game, Frederic played a total of 2:56 on the PK against the Predators and got multiple shifts. He was certainly effective as well, being paired primarily with Brad Marchand. That’s a big responsibility to have, and it’s clear the Bruins coaching staff wants him to mold into being there regularly. In a featured piece by Conor Ryan of Boston.com, Montgomery touched on Frederic. “I’ve just noticed him as far as where he was last year to this year. He’s a way more assertive hockey player.” 

Frederic has also been physical, to no one’s surprise, recording six hits through the first two games. He was fifth on the team last season and has always played a physical style of hockey. As Bruins fans know, he’s not afraid to drop the gloves with anyone in the league.

Offensively, Frederic has generated a few good chances as well. He scored the team’s first goal of the season on a beautiful deflection in front of the net. His positioning seems to get stronger each year, and now, in his sixth season, he looks to excel. Now 25 and turning 26 in February, Frederic can emerge as a more trusted voice in the dressing room. 

With the clear trust of the coaching staff and the confidence built from last season, the pesky forward is poised to step into a bigger role. Through two games, he’s shown he’s capable of doing so and looks to remain on an upward trajectory.