Boston’s Trent Frederic started strong in his rookie season, but was not a part of the roster in the playoffs. Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Trent Frederic’s rookie NHL season started out with much promise, especially for old-school fans who loved his rough-and-tumble style of play reminiscent of so many Bruins of the past.

But somewhere along the way, it seemed Frederic and that promise ran smack into some sort of rookie wall that has afflicted many first-year players before him. Still, Frederic, who signed a new two-year deal worth $1.02 million annually last week, believes there were things to build upon.

“I think it was a good year. I think I came out hot. I’m sure there’s points where I wasn’t as good of a player as I wanted to be and there’s times where I played well. I thought overall it was a good season,” said Frederic on Wednesday. “It was a bummer we came up short, but overall, it was a good season. What I need to work on is probably just my skating, more confidence with the puck. Making that right play with confidence, I guess.”

Frederic became an early fan favorite with his brash trash talk and his willingness to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Washington’s Tom Wilson.

But in the end, fewer and fewer teams were willing to engage physically with Frederic and the required level of production was not enough to keep him in the lineup, especially after an illness knocked him out of the lineup. During that time, the Bruins acquired Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar, creating a personnel logjam that kept him out of the playoffs. He finished with just four goals an assists, a minus-8 rating and 65 penalty minutes in 42 games.

Frederic’s potential is not yet clear. He could be an effective fourth liner or, if he can continue to work on his shot and skating, perhaps he could bump up to a third line role.

He looks at this past year as “getting his feet wet.”

“I think this was just the beginning for my hockey career, and I think I have a lot more to offer,” said Frederic. “Obviously, I was disappointed that we didn’t make it and that we’re not playing right now. Obviously, I wanted to help out as well. But everything happens for a reason and sometimes it’s out of your control and you just have to keep working hard and work for the next day.”

Frederic had contracted COVID-19 during the layoff between the 2019-20 regular season and the bubble playoffs and he did not suffer severe symptoms. The illness he had during the season in April was not COVID, but he wasn’t sure what he had.

“I don’t know exactly. I had a fever. I think it was lower 100s for a couple days, so we don’t really know exactly what it was, but it wasn’t COVID. It was worse than when I had COVID, to be honest. But I know some people had COVID worse than others,” said Frederic.

BRUINS ASSISTANT coach Jay Pandolfo appears headed to alma mater with a source confirming the hiring process is under way for Pandolfo to join Albie O’Connell’s coaching staff at Boston University.

The New England Hockey Journal first reported that Pandolfo, who has been an assistant with the Bruins for five seasons and was a four-year player at BU from 1992-96 before embarking on an 18-year pro playing career, would join O’Connell’s staff as an associate head coach. Paul Pearl recently left the BU staff.

Now, it appears the Bruins will need to fill an opening. Providence Coach Jay Leach is highly regarded and could be a possibility.


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