(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

The Seventh Player Award is an accolade that diehard Boston Bruins fans hold near and dear to their hearts. The accolade, voted on by said fans, is presented to the player who performs above and beyond expectations. There are several worthy candidates for the 2024 iteration of the Boston Bruins, but the player who deserves it most is Trent Frederic.

At the end of last year’s record-setting regular season, Frederic found himself on the outside looking in as the Bruins geared up for their first-round series against the Florida Panthers. Despite being sixth on the team in goals and fifth in even-strength goals, the St. Louis, MO native was relegated to the ninth floor for games six and seven of the series. The offseason that followed saw the departures of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Taylor Hall, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Thomas Nosek, which created an opportunity for Frederic to step into the limelight and establish himself as a core member of the Boston Bruins, and he’s done just that.

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Through the first 49 games of the season, Frederic is seventh on the team in points with 29, fourth on the team in goals with fourteen, and eighth on the team in assists with 15. The most promising development is that he’s currently on pace to shatter his previous career highs in goals (17 goals) and points (31). The scrappy, gritty forward who was first known for his hard-nosed play and right hook is quickly becoming one of Boston’s best goal-scorers.

Frederic’s numbers aren’t just impressive amongst his teammates; they’re also beginning to garner attention around the league. The former first-round pick is tied for 12th in the league in even-strength goals (13) and 18th in even-strength points (28). For reference, he has more even-strength goals than Jason Robertson, Dylan Larkin, and Mark Scheifele and more even-strength points than Cale Makar, John Tavares, and Captain Brad Marchand.

His goal-scoring may raise eyebrows, but his improvement as a passer signals how much he’s developed as an all-around player. Frederic already eclipsed his career-high in assists last season (14) and has five in his previous five games. Adding this facet to his game makes him a more dangerous weapon in the offensive zone and a more significant threat whenever he’s on the ice.

In addition to Frederic’s contributions on the scoresheet, he’s also been a Swiss army knife for Bruins’ head coach, Jim Montgomery. He’s spent time centering the fourth line, skated on Morgan Geekie’s wing on the third line, and has recently earned time next to Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand. His ability to change his role based on matchups makes him an indispensable part of the Boston Bruins.

Trent Frederic has improved every facet of his game through the first half of the 2023-24 season. He has 15 points in 17 games since Christmas and is blossoming into one of the most critical aspects of this team’s current and future success. There’s still a long way to go, but given where he was last season and how his year ended, it’s clear that Frederic deserves the 2024 Seventh Player Award.