Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports

A bigger, better Trent Frederic has Bruins rethinking his NHL potential

Ty Anderson
July 07, 2017 - 7:25 pm

Bruins prospect Trent Frederic is emerging another example of why it’s never really in your best interest to lose your damn mind the second after a draft pick is made.

Selected by the Bruins with the 29th overall pick in 2016, and over skill players such as Sam Steel and Alex DeBrincat, the Bruins were immediately under fire when Frederic was tagged as a player whose ceiling is likely that of a third-line center in the NHL.

But they (and everyone else) have been forced to rethink that original prediction, at least after Frederic’s 15-goal, 33-point freshman season at the University of Wisconsin.

“There is in my mind so far,” Bruins player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner, this year running his first development camp since joining the Bruins, said when asked if there’s been a rethinking with Frederic’s future role. “He plays top line at Wisconsin. I think playing for the development program, sometimes depending on what group you’re in, you get slotted into certain areas a little bit. Because of some of the players they had in his age group, he maybe played a little bit down the lineup which can be what it is. But at Wisconsin, he’s been playing in the top six.”

Among the group of 29 skaters at this year’s development camp, Frederic has arrived with more to his frame, and has been noticeable in the majority of the on-ice drills, which was to be expected after his finished second among Wisconsin scorers last year.

“He’s filled out, I’ll say. He’s gotten a stronger upper body,” Langenbrunner said of Frederic, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 203 pounds. “He’s obviously a big kid to start with. His dad is a big man also. So, that was to be expected that he would fill out. He was a young kid a year ago. He’s continuing to grow and develop and taking good strides.

“Part of working on his hands, I think for him, is growing into his body. As a 17, 18-year-old kid and six-two, six-three, or whatever he is now, you’re not always going to be fully coordinated,” Langenbrunner continued. “Part of that is getting that back, growing into your body. Part of it is putting in the time, and I think he’s been doing that. In talking with the coaches there, Tony Granato and his crew, he’s first one on the ice, last one off, goes in whenever he can to put in that extra work, and it shows.”

And while the results for Frederic are undoubtedly showing on these summer mornings spent at Warrior Ice Arena, the B’s hope that they can get even better, as the club hopes Frederic can be the next big piece of their long-vaunted organizational depth at center, which has been the backbone of this team for a decade-plus.

“Time will tell as he turns to pro hockey in years down what he’ll be,” Langenbrunner, a veteran of over 1,100 NHL games and with two Stanley Cup rings, noted. “But, there’s more skill to his game than I think people thought coming out of the draft.”