One of the top rookies in Boston last season was winger Jake DeBrusk. The former first round pick won over the hearts of many Bruins fans with his dedication to every shift and his skilled play, especially in the playoffs. A big reason he saw so much success in his first season in the NHL was because the Bruins gave him the time he needed to develop into the role that he was to fill. DeBrusk had spent two seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) before being drafted in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. DeBrusk then saw two more seasons of development. The first was with his junior team in the WHL and the second was with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL). The blueprint for DeBrusk was a successful one and it seems the Bruins could be using the same blueprint for another former first round pick.
A year after they drafted DeBrusk, the Bruins drafted centerman Trent Frederic with the 29th overall pick in the draft. Frederic then spent two seasons in the NCAA with the Wisconsin Badgers. He tallied 32 goals and 33 assists in 66 games for the Badgers. He also inked an entry level contract with the Bruins at the end of last season and started his pro career with the Providence Bruins. He tallied five goals and four assists in 16 games (13 regular season, 3 playoff). I should also mention that he scored four goals in the bronze medal game of the 2018 World Junior Championships to held the U.S.A. secure bronze.
Frederic seems to be one of Don Sweeney’s gem prospects and it feels like he’s going to do what he can to make sure he’s fully ready for the NHL when he finally makes the jump. Throughout all of his stages Frederic has proven to be a talented prospect. As we’ve seen with prospects in any sport, rushing them to the big leagues could be detrimental to their growth. So don’t expect the Bruins to do that with him.
The team currently has a surplus of forwards under contract, which means the 20-year-old will really have to impress the Bruins brass to make the club out of camp. And no offense to Frederic but I don’t see that hapening. In my opinion, I don’t think Bruins fans will see Frederic wearing black and gold in Boston all season long.
During the 2016–17 season many thought they would see Jake DeBrusk get a call up when the team was hit with injuries. That didn’t happen. I feel the same is going to happen with Frederic. No matter how many injuries the Bruins run into this season, Frederic will stay put in Providence. The Bruins will give him every opportunity in the AHL to grow and develop into the player they want him to be.
Based on his success in the NCAA, World Junior tournament, and his quick campaign with Providence last season, all signs point to Trent Frederic being a stud for the Bruins in the future. He may be NHL ready at some point this season and he may even get a call up late in the year. Do I think a call up will happen? No. But that’s in the hands of the Bruins management team, not me. I think the Bruins saw the success with DeBrusk and are planning on doing the same with Frederic. His future is bright in the NHL, but he still has one more year of seasoning before he gets his full-time spot on the club.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)