Stop the press! We have a new prospect of the week! It’s Trent Frederic.
For those of you who didn’t follow the World Junior Championships this time around Team USA lost in the semi-final round to Sweden. To make that unfortunate situation even worse they then had to turn around and play in the bronze medal game the next night (Friday) against the Czech Republic, less than 24 hours later. However, Team USA made quick work of the Czech Republic by beating them 9-3 to claim the bronze.
Bruins prospect Trent Frederic made the most of his limited 4th line minutes in the bronze medal game by scoring an impressive 4 goals. He popped in 2 at even strength, 1 on the power play, and a shorty to boot. He was a penalty shot away from hitting for the cycle.
Here are Frederic’s 4 goals:
As you can see in the tweets above Frederic’s first two goals show a very nice quick release and well placed shot. Frederic might project to be a 3rd or 4th liner in the NHL but in today’s NHL you need to get scoring from all 4 lines. It’s also a bonus that he is defensively accountable and is very good in the faceoff circle. And if your 4th line center has skill to pop for 10 goals a season it can create some match up problems for other teams and allows for tremendous scoring depth.
And I gotta say, Frederic must love to play hockey. He played Thursday night in the WJC semi-final game, Friday in the bronze medal game, and then he played for his college team, Wisconsin, Saturday at Penn State. It says a lot about his attitude, committment, and his leadership abilities.
Even Frederic’s coach at Wisconsin, Tony Granato, had this to say about him:
“I think it says a lot about him. It says a lot about how much pride he has and how bad he wants to be here and help for him to drive from Buffalo to meet us at Penn State. To give an effort like he did on Saturday night, I think it was what we needed. He stepped up and acted the way we want all our players to act.”
Frederic ended up with 5 goals in the 7 games at the WJC. His selection to Team USA was cemented when he started this NCAA season for Wisconsin just like he did his freshman season last fall, on fire, and was a point per game performer. Recently he has had a bit of a snag in his production. As of today Frederic has 8 goals and 8 assists for 16 points in 22 games for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Hopefully Frederic, who is the reigning Big 10 Freshman of the Year, can carry his WJC experience over to Wisconsin and his production increases the rest of the season even while coach Granato departs the Badgers temporarily to coach Team USA at the Olympics in February.
- Ryan Lindgren, from the Minnesota Gophers, missed USA’s gold medal game in last year’s WJC due to the flu. This year he returned to be a key stay at home defenseman for Team USA. Lindgren played in all 7 games this year, recording an assist. He was second amongst USA defensemen in average ice time with an even 19:00. The only defenseman to play more than Lindgren was Harvard’s Adam Fox with 21:37. To put that into perspective though, Lindgren did not play on the power play so he did not get any man advantage minutes to pad his time on ice.
- Oskar Steen represented the silver medal winning Sweden but he was not the player that threw his medal into the crowd. Steen, the little spark plug, finished the tournament with 2 goals and 2 assists in 7 games. He could be an interesting dark horse player for the Bruins. He has played in the WJC the past two years for Sweden and has good speed to go along with some nice skill while being listed as 5’9″. In today’s NHL smaller guys can survive, but if his skill is similar to a bigger player the bigger player will always win that battle.
- Finland might have been the biggest disappointment in the WJC and there were two Bruins prospects on their team. Urho Vaakanainen, who was the Bruins first round pick in 2017, a smooth skating defenseman, only recorded 1 assist, but was plus-3 for a team that only won 2 games in the tournament. Vaakanainen looked good, but definitely looked like he will need some development at either the AHL level or more seasoning in Finland’s top professional league, which he is playing in currently.
- The other Bruins’ prospect playing for Finland was 2015 5th round selection Joona Koppanen. The forward was second on Team Finland with 3 goals. He also added an assists to finish with 4 points. Koppanen has signed his entry level contract so the Bruins must expect him to come over to the United States at some point. Maybe as soon as next season.
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