The Boston Bruins have a player seemingly built for this series in Trent Frederic; that alone though isn’t a good enough reason to call him up yet.
While there would absolutely be some advantages to the Boston Bruins introducing a young, feisty, physical player like Trent Frederic into a series that’s only going to get rougher and more intense as it goes on, there’s also a lot of risk associated with such a call-up.
Straight up, Trent Frederic is relatively untested at the NHL level, let alone in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has just seventeen Boston Bruins games to his name; in one of those this year, he saw just seven shifts and the almost pointless ice-time of 04:16.
Without knocking the AHL, it does provide young players with a physical contest. Not every game in the AHL is decided on skill and talent alone; there’s a grittier element to the game, which is actually useful in a playoff situation.
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However, what isn’t useful is taking penalties, which is an area of the game that Trent Frederic is unreliable in. His first year with Providence, he racked up 67 penalty minutes in 55 games, this past season, that more than doubled to 148 penalty minutes in 59 games.
The Boston Bruins can’t afford ill discipline in this playoff match-up, because it will inevitably hurt them; the likes of Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point can only be stymied for so long.
This is likely the reason that Bruce Cassidy is unwilling to insert Frederic into the line-up, even if he would bring a youthful burst of energy.
Right now, it seems the preference is to throw a more experienced Nick Ritchie into the mix; again, he’s limited in what he offers in terms of skill and production but he brings a physicality to his game that stands up in the playoffs.
He is that little more wily, that little more wise about not racking up the penalty minutes though. In time, Trent Frederic will no doubt learn this skill and become a useful piece, likely on the Boston Bruins’ fourth line.
For now, he’s not worth the risk though. The penalty-kill has been near perfect so far and will stay that way the less time they spend out killing penalties!