Trent Frederic’s pro hockey résumé isn’t long enough to garner him widespread recognition, even in St. Louis.
The Bruins rookie center, who spent 15 games in Boston last season and 55 with AHL Providence, spent the summer in his hometown, but mostly went incognito in the Stanley Cup afterglow there.
“Walking around, people talked about it, but no one really knows I’m affiliated with Boston,” he said.
He didn’t see the Cup once, even though it kept popping up everywhere. Part of that was his own doing.
“There was one time I was out to eat, and someone was like, ‘Yeah, apparently the Cup’s coming,’ ” he said. “I was like, ‘I’m getting out of here.’ I can’t survive a photo, you know, being in the background of that.”
While his pals went to the Cup parade, he said, he got out of town to “avoid that mayhem.” he escaped to the farm of a family friend, some 45 minutes outside the city.
“It’s pretty sweet. It’s like 300 acres,” he said, sunnily describing horse riding and lake fishing as the main activities. “When I fish, I like to hang out. I don’t even drop a line. I go out there and sit on the boat.”
It wasn’t all rural idyll for the easy-going Frederic, a contender for a bottom-six center role and one of 27 Bruins youngsters headed to Buffalo for this weekend’s tournament with the Devils, Penguins and Sabres. As one of the more experienced players on the rookie roster, along with Anders Bjork and Urho Vaakanainen, Frederic wants to prove his progress. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 203 pounds, he dropped a few pounds and looks trimmer after a change in diet.
As a first-year pro, he said, he didn’t refuel properly. His apartment fridge contained “mostly water,” cooking at home a foreign idea. He now feels more energized after a summer of eating greens, and mostly passing on bread, subs and toasted raviolis.
“I feel better walking around, and skating for sure,” he said. “I feel leaner in my stomach and my body.”
Hoping to gain a step, he also spent 7 a.m. workouts with trainer Jeff LoVecchio. The former AHL Providence winger now works for the same St. Louis Blues AAA minor program that in 2016 produced five first-round picks, including Frederic (29th overall).
“He does look a little bit thinner,” said player development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner. “He got his training to where it needed to [be] to be a pro hockey player. I think he’ll be a good player for us sooner than later.”
The tournament is a chance for Frederic and Jack Studnicka, ostensibly Boston’s centers of the future, to show their stuff next to New Jersey’s Jack Hughes, the No. 1 overall pick in June. The Bruins’ brass wants to see where Bjork is after season-ending shoulder surgeries in consecutive years, and how encouraging seasons by fellow wingers Oskar Steen, Pavel Shen and Jakub Lauko might translate in a tournament of their pro peers. On the blue line, Vaakanainen and under-the-radar prospects such as Axel Andersson and Cooper Zech will be in focus. Netminders Dan Vladar and Kyle Keyser can show they’re ready to be impact pros.
Former rookie-camp standouts Milan Lucic (2007), Blake Wheeler (2008), Tyler Seguin (2010) and David Pastrnak (2014) cracked the varsity roster. Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman were more recent success stories. This week, video of both were shown to the current crop, and the staff didn’t have to look far to find footage. They just had to go back to the Stanley Cup Final, which came mere months after their Bruins debuts.
“The guys who look like they’re ready for the NHL usually are pretty good in this tournament,” Langenbrunner said. “They stand out. They’re a little bit different. They’re pretty noticeable.”
. . .
As he heads into the final year of his contract, defenseman Torey Krug said he has not talked with the Bruins about an extension.
The impasse stems from the lack of a deal with restricted free agents Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, both of whom remain without deals with training camp set to start next Thursday.
“Maybe a little surprise nothing has been talked about, but I realize that our team is in a different situation,” Krug said Thursday at the annual NHL/NHLPA preseason media tour, according to the Associated Press.
“I understand that we have two guys that need to be signed and that can have big effects on our cap situation moving forward and our boss has to deal with that. Of course I wish there was dialogue and I wish there was some sort of call or something like that, but it’s just nonexistent.”
Krug, who was sixth among defensemen in assists (47) and 12th in points (53) last season, said he wasn’t disrespected by the quiet summer. His next contract is likely to eclipse the four-year, $21 million pact he signed in 2016.
“I put together a résumé that I’m very, very comfortable with and happy about,” Krug said. “You’ve just got to be patient and try to do your part, be a soldier. You don’t get these opportunities too often. You just try to take advantage of it.”
Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports