The agitator mentality was the main thing that stuck out about Bruins forward Trent Frederic this past season. But he knows that there is more work to be done for him to become an NHL regular. He had an explosive start to his rookie season when it comes to being an agitator, but that playstyle is tough to keep up for anywhere from 56 to 82 games, whatever the length may be.
When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Frederic gave us an idea of where he wants his game to be going forward into next season. He wants to become an NHL regular. “That’s what I’m striving towards. I’ve got a lot of work to become that,” Frederic said. “I think I have the ability to become it and I think I will, but obviously I have some work to do for that.”
Additionally, he highlighted skating and having more confidence with the puck as two important areas of improvement for him. Part of what will make Frederic’s case to have a long stay in the Bruins lineup is finding a good, consistent balance between being an effective agitator and a valuable bottom-six forward. Not everyone is going to want to drop the gloves and/or talk smack all the time, and I’m sure Frederic knows that.
If he picks his spots well when it comes to getting under people’s skin and uses his speed to forecheck and create space for his teammates, he’ll be a pretty serviceable Bruin. If that much is consistent in his game, some point production will come along as well.
Trent Frederic drops the gloves with Tom Wilson. pic.twitter.com/8CnbGI3cPX
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 2, 2021
The added motivation for Frederic, outside of simply wanting to be able to help the Bruins, is making his new two-year, $2.1 million deal look like a nice, tidy piece of business by GM Don Sweeney. In turn, that’ll help him towards earning himself a raise on his next deal down the road and potentially becoming a Bruin for an extended period of time.
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Wednesday was also the six-year anniversary of the day that the wheels were set in motion for the Bruins to eventually draft Frederic in 2016. Martin Jones was traded by the Bruins to the San Jose Sharks for Sean Kuraly and the first-round pick that the Bruins used to draft him. Just a little fun fact for anyone who may not have realized that it had already been six years.
Frederic will have a nice spot for himself in the bottom-six forward group if he can build on what he showed this past season. Having the ability to play both wing and center won’t hurt him either. He’s an exciting player when he’s locked into that agitator play style. The 2021-2022 season will be a big one for Trent Frederic to potentially continue to put together his case to be a long-time Bruins agitator.