Drafted 29th overall by Boston in 2016, it took four seasons for Trent Frederic to pop out of the woodwork. The 25-year-old St. Louis native is having a breakout season with the Bruins and it seems to be going only up for the center.
Before playing for the Bruins, Frederic was recruited for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in 2013, where he appeared in many international tournaments, including the World U-17 Hockey Challenge and IIHF World U18 Championship. While with the USA Hockey program, Frederic committed to join the Wisconsin Badgers college ice hockey program for their 2016–17 season. The Badgers lost the Big Ten Conference championships in the seasons Frederic was there, but he scored 15 and 17 goals in those two seasons, respectively. After his sophomore year with the team, Frederic chose to leave Wisconsin in order to sign with the Bruins.
Frederic’s first two seasons with the Bruins, from 2018 to 2020 left little to be seen and heard, being called up from Providence multiple times to replace injured players throughout his first few seasons. Frederic opened the 2020–21 season as a member of the Bruins’ taxi squad, ready to fill in for either Craig Smith or Brad Marchand as needed. After cementing his place on the Bruins lineup by way of fighting with P. K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils early in the season, Frederic finally scored his first NHL point on January 23rd, an assist on Coyle’s goal in a 3–1 game winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. His first NHL goal also came against the Flyers, a second-period shot on Carter Hart during the NHL outdoor game at Lake Tahoe on February 21st.
What was going to be a strong rookie season for Frederic was suddenly cut short when on April 6th, he contracted a mysterious, non-COVID-19 illness. Frederic suffered a fever of over 100 °F that sidelined him for a long period of time, and when the Bruins acquired Curtis Lazar and Taylor Hall in a late-season trade with the Buffalo Sabres, it was difficult for Frederic to find his way back into the lineup. After contracting the illness, he made only six more regular-season appearances for Boston that season. He scored four goals and one assist in 42 regular season games, but did not make an appearance in any of the Bruins’ 11 games at the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, even when the fourth line wavered and Boston eventually fell to the New York Islanders.
With this looming over him, it was looking like Frederic wasn’t yet ready for the fast paced NHL arena. But slowly, improvement was being made. In the 2021-22 season, Frederic put up 8 goals and 10 assists in 60 games. Not exactly top rookie numbers, but enough to put him on the map. But a switch flipped this year, and suddenly Frederic was scoring more than he ever has in the NHL. 16 goals and 14 assists this season so far in 72 games played, and a soon-to-be playoff performance to boot, Frederic’s career is looking promising. Frederic signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract extension with the Bruins on June 25th, 2021 and hopefully the Bruins choose to re-sign this promising young player in the remainder of the season.
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