When the Los Angeles Kings traded restricted free agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer, it ruffled the feathers of at least a few Leafs fans (then again, what doesn’t?). Fans in Toronto felt the Leafs gave up too much for a goaltender who wasn’t even guaranteed to get the starting job in 2013-14. But Toronto’s loss was Los Angeles’ gain as the central piece of the trade heading to the City of Angels was forward Matt Frattin.
At 6-feet, 200 pounds, Frattin’s size isn’t exactly on par with the rest of his new teammates – but size doesn’t always matter. In 35 games last season, the Edmonton native scored seven goals and added six helpers to go along with a +6 rating. To prove his sense of good timing, three of those seven goals last season were game-winners.
Despite his size, Frattin was able to register 53 hits. But it’s not the physical side that makes the 25-year-old special. With his speed and fluent movement on the ice, Matt Frattin has shown that he belongs in the NHL – even if it’s playing on the third or fourth line.
Above all, what I like most about Matt Frattin’s game was his ability to play so well in the media hotbed that was Toronto – and don’t underestimate that facet as many players who have played great with other teams, have joined the Maple Leafs to, for lack of a better phrase, stink up the joint. In recent years, Lee Stempniak, Francois Beauchemin and Jason Blake just to name a few have fit that category. As far as I’m concerned (with all due respect to the Leafs and their fans), if a player can play well in Toronto, he can play well anywhere – and that is exactly why I’m excited about the arrival of Matt Frattin to Los Angeles.
While the jury is still out on University of North Dakota alum, Kings fans will learn in short time just how great of an addition Matt Frattin is – that I am very confident of.