No pick was more polarizing at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft than Boston’s selection of U.S. National Team Development Program center Trent Frederic.
The Missouri native is a 6-2, 205-pound two-way pivot who scored 20 goals and 40 points in 61 games with Team USA. He’s a natural athlete who starred in three sports (hockey, football, baseball) and whose family consists of multiple high-end achievers and NCAA D1 athletes in the form of male and female siblings.
Frederic got high marks from the Bruins for his physicality and character.
Truth in lending- I was not all that impressed with him when I watched Frederic at the World Under-18 tourney, and if I had to guess, knowing where the staff at Red Line Report had him ranked, he’s got a good shot at being the most “overvalued” pick in the annual July draft recap issue coming in a couple of weeks. I could have put out a list of at least 20 players I would have picked before Frederic had you pinned me down on the 29th overall selection beforehand.
Having said that, he’s not a terrible player and could very well force a lot of folks (present company included) to eat crow at some point.
What follows is an attempt to provide a balanced podcast/audio file that argues both sides of the debate- that Frederic is a microcosm of the myriad doubts and issues that fans have with the Boston Bruins and their front office- versus the idea that Don Sweeney and chief scout Keith Gretzky knew what they were doing when they stood pat and picked Frederic with the second of two first-rounders.
Here’s the podcast. It clocks in at under 45 minutes and once again proves that brevity is not always my friend. There are 5 points that I argue both sides on:
- Frederic at 29 is bad asset management given that he wasn’t projected in the opening round.
- Gretzky being on the record that the team doesn’t see him as a top-2 line forward is an admission of failure and a disaster of a decision.
- Picking a checking/bottom-6 forward in the first round is *never* an option.
- If the Bruins wanted Frederic, then all they should have done is trade down and get him in the 30’s or 40’s.
- Because Frederic was ranked by most public lists lower than 29th overall, the team had no business picking him there.
Here’s the file…I fully understand I won’t convince everyone either way, but the goal here is to inform and give you some food for thought. If you’re at least willing to allow that there might be room to be patient on both sides, then we’re getting somewhere.
The one point I didn’t make enough in the podcast is an old scouting saw: Take the player you want where/when you want him. It’s easy for fans who haven’t scouted the players and logged the miles/put in the time all season to watch these guys and are invested in having them join the organization to demand that the team trade down, but it all comes down to how much risk the team’s leaders are willing to take.
For those who stick it out, I hope you’ll find it worth your time.
Reminder- I’ll be doing a more comprehensive post-draft recap podcast with Dominc Tiano and Reed Duthie aka “the 3 Amigos- LTD” on Thursday.