The aftermath of the crushing Game 7 loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday still is fresh in the minds of the Bruins organization, from management and players all the way down to the fans, but there still are a lot of positives that came out of the historic season.
One of them was the growth of Trent Frederic into a reliable bottom-six forward that can play either wing or center, not just a fighter.
“I think everyone had a good year on our team, and it was fun to be a part of that,” Frederic said Tuesday at exit interview day at Warrior Ice Arena. “It’s been a work in progress, and so it was fun to kind of see, and hopefully, I can keep building on that and getting better as a player. I think I still have a lot to offer and excited, you know, for next year.”
In 79 regular season games, Frederic potted 17 goals and assisted on 14 others, amassing 31 points — all career highs for the St. Louis native. Having the offensive output allowed Frederic to showcase that he’s more than just a physical presence in the Bruins lineup.
“I mean, when you’re younger, it helps with the goals and stuff. It gives you, you know how to explain it, but it [scoring] gives you more confidence in yourself,” the 25-year-old said. “When you have no goals, it’s hard to back up the fighting. You just got to do what you got to do. It helps when you add that other stuff, and you can fight on your terms.”
As a restricted free agent at the end of this season, Frederic has made his love to return to Boston clear and with his versatility in the lineup feels he can only help the Black and Gold in the future.
“I came in as a center and then went to left and played a lot of right this year, which I really like,” Frederic explained. “It was nice to go back and play center. I want to faceoffs this summer to be trusted in that aspect (of the game). I’ve been good at faceoffs my whole life. … I think I can do a good job and help this team.”
Like his Bruins teammates, Frederic does not know what the roster will look like come fall with so many players entering free agency this summer. His only hope is to return to the Spoked-B’s and maybe be utilized in his natural position — center.
“That would be awesome. That’s been my position my whole life until I got here,” Frederic said. “That would be awesome. If I got a chance to do that it’d be awesome.”
The Bruins will have to enter a qualifying offer to Frederic to maintain negotiating rights. If Boston does not extend an offer, he will become an unrestricted free agent.