Bruins prospect Trent Frederic, a first-round pick in 2016, pumped in four goals Friday in Team USA’s 9-3 shellacking of the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game of the World Junior Championship in Buffalo.
Frederic, who has attended two development camps with the Bruins, is a sophomore center at the University of Wisconsin and could turn pro with Boston this spring.
Frederic was chosen 29th overall in 2016 with a pick that originally belonged to San Jose. The Sharks sent the Bruins that pick and the rights to Sean Kuraly in the deal that had the Bruins flipping goalie Martin Jones to the Bay Area, after the Bruins acquired Jones from the Kings in the Milan Lucic swap.
“The original [scouting report on Frederic] was, ‘We’ve got ourselves a checking, 200-foot center,’ ” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, recalling what he saw of Frederic in the most recent July development camp. “A big body [6 feet 2 inches, 205 pounds]. So what does that mean about his hands?”
Four goals against the Czechs might have helped answer that question and perhaps had Team USA wishing it had included Frederic on its Olympic squad.
Bruins prospect Ryan Donato, a Harvard junior, is accompanying the Yanks to South Korea next month.
“In development camp, I thought he had good hands around the net,” added Cassidy, when asked about Frederic on Saturday morning. “Maybe he’s not a guy who’ll come flying down the wing and score, but he’ll get to the dirty areas. If he can bring that on a consistent basis in college, then as he gets into a pro career . . . even if he ends up a third-line center, a valuable position in the NHL, if you can contribute offensively like [Ryan] Kesler in Anaheim . . . you are that much better.”
Cassidy likes Frederic’s size and surliness.
“If he can pitch in offensively, maybe you’ve really got something,” said the coach. “Then maybe it might lead to a second-line role, too. If you are scoring, you move up the charts.”
Frederic fell one goal shy of tying the US record for a World Junior game. Wally Chapman (1984) and Chris Bourque (2005) each netted five.
Bourque, son of legendary Boston defenseman Ray Bourque, earlier in the week was named to the US Olympic squad.
As a freshman at Wisconsin, Frederic finished second in scoring (33 points in 30 games). His scoring rate is slightly diminished this season (16 points in 21 games), but he again is second on the club in points.
Frederic grew up in St. Louis and played on amateur clubs there with pals Clayton Keller, the former Boston University standout now with the Coyotes, and Brady Tkachuk, the Terriers’ talented freshman winger. Frederic, also recruited heavily by BU and North Dakota, ultimately chose Wisconsin.
“The best college you can go to as a hockey player,” he said.
Frederic fractured his left hand in December last season, the second time in as many years that he broke a bone in that hand. At the Bruins’ urging, he has worked hard on improving his puckhandling and overall stickwork.
“They were better during the year,” said Frederic. “I think they’ve gotten better. I am still working on my hands, but I do stuff after practice every day. I can get on the ice every day at school — even in the summer — and that kind of helps.”