Morgan Frost has not played a lot of hockey over the past 12 months. In fact, since the shutdown of the NHL, he has only played two games. An injury early in the 2020-2021 season sidelined the young center before he could really get going.
Prior to the Flyers’ Rookie camp, there was a lot of discussion on where Frost would fit in with the NHL club. All of that speculation took a turn with the news dropped by Head Coach, Alain Vigneault in his pre-camp press conference.
Kevin Hayes will miss six to eight weeks – equating to nine or ten games. Partnered with confirmation that Wade Allison would also miss time, this stung. But it may have opened the doors for Morgan Frost to make up for lost time.
Opportunity is Knocking for Morgan Frost
Frost has an opportunity to seize his destiny. So far, he has been centering James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee. They seemed to click, and Forst is looking pretty good considering his missed time. Following the first training camp scrimmage, Vigneault said the following:
“I’m very happy with what I’m seeing from Frosty. Didn’t know what to expect since he didn’t play last year. I liked him in rookie camp. He’s come here and he’s continued. You see, physically that he’s confident and he’s skating well. We worked on the power play prior to the scrimmage. I liked a lot of his decisions on the ice with the puck. Joel and JvR played together last year, quite a few games with different centerman. There’s some chemistry there. We’ll see moving forward how those guys can do together.”
There has been a lot of buzz around the young Canadian center that can’t be ignored. Frost is highly skilled and has a knack for being creative and productive. His ability to dominate and the scoresheet were showcased in juniors. Frost played four seasons in the OHL for the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. During his time there, he proved to be a dynamic offensive player.
During his career for the SOO Greyhounds, Frost scored, A LOT! He averaged 1.21 points per game over four seasons. However, he got off to a slow start with the Greyhounds, only recording 27 pts (7 goals/ 20 assists) in 65 games during his first season. He picked up the pace one year later, scoring 62 (20G/ 4 A) in 67 games. It was after this season that the Flyers drafted Frost with the 27th overall pick. His final two seasons are where he really shined.
But it should be reinforced that Frost was a late first-round pick, and Chuck Fletcher just shipped off the overall #2 player in that draft. Just because a player has excelled prior to making the NHL leap, there is no guarantee that he’ll be able to replicate that form immediately. Nolan Patrick’s situation was notably different, but he never quite lived up to the potential after making a full NHL return. Expectations should be tempered.
Dominating The OHL
The 2017-18 OHL season was where Frost asserted himself as a potential star. He finished the season second in the OHL in points with 118(42G/ 70A) in 67 games played. He also had 29 points (10G/ 19A) in 24 playoff games. Frost followed that season up with 109 points(37G/ 72A) in 57 games as well as 18 points (7G/ 11A) in 11 playoff games during his final year with the Greyhounds.
This earned him spot on Team Canada for the World Junior Championships. During the tournament, he scored 8 points (4G/4A)in five games but was unable to help Canada win a medal, as they dropped the quarterfinal match to the eventual champs, Team Finland.
Frost has become used to being an underdog. He was dubbed a bottom-six forward during his scouting reports. His size was a major issue, but the youngster has since added to his frame. Frost will need to add to the physical aspect to his game as well. We all saw what Farabee went through his first NHL season. I’d expect Frost will get the same treatment.
So Frost has the ability, it’s just that he needs time to develop. Following up the COVID-19 shutdown with a season ending surgery did not help Frost’s growth. After getting the chance to speak with Frost a couple years back, I can’t help but hope for big things for the polite young man from Ontario. With any luck, and a little patience, Frost will make the most of the opportunity given to him and start producing at the NHL level.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre