Journey to the Flyers: Morgan Frost

A lot of this season for the Philadelphia Flyers has been centered around the youth of the team and players developing into potential NHL regulars. One of the team’s top prospects that fans have been excited about and have wanted to see get the call-up was forward Morgan Frost. He signed his entry-level contract back in the summer of 2017 and was playing with the American Hockey League affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The day finally came on Nov. 18, with head coach Alain Vigneault wanting to use Frost’s call-up as a way to spark the rest of the team, including a few players he mentioned by name.

A lot of time and effort has been put in by Frost and his family in order to get to this point in his life, and I want to shed light on his journey to the NHL with the Flyers.

Behind the Frost

Frost was born on May 14, 1999, in Aurora, Ontario. His father Andy played a significant role in introducing him to the game of hockey (from ‘Andy Frost, former PA announcer for Maple Leafs, planted seed for Flyers center Morgan Frost’s NHL career,’ Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/19/2019).

The same year Morgan was born, Andy took a job as the PA announcer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. As a result of spending time over the years with his dad, Morgan would go and see the Leafs play quite often. He got to see many aspects through his experiences going to games, and it helped shape that love and passion for hockey that drove him into becoming the player he is today.

Eventually, Morgan started playing hockey himself, and it would not be long before others started to recognize his talents and he would move his way up the ranks.

Morgan Frost, OHL, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Morgan Frost with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Making his way into juniors, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) brought Frost into the organization, and he made his mark on the franchise. He played a total of four seasons with the Greyhounds, posting the following numbers:

  • 2015-16: 7 goals and 20 assists in 65 games
  • 2016-17: 20 goals and 42 assists in 67 games
  • 2017-18: 42 goals and 70 assists in 67 games
  • 2018-19: 37 goals and 72 assists in 58 games

He caught the eyes of many pro scouts and was followed closely as a potential draft pick for an NHL team. The hard work and dedication paid off for the young man, as he was invited to the NHL Draft, and selected in the first round (27th overall) by the Flyers in 2017 (their second pick of the round with Nolan Patrick being selected second overall). He then continued his development with the Greyhounds for a couple more years.

Diving into the Pro Leagues

After four years of being an offensive leader for the Greyhounds, Frost was brought into the Flyers organization, and placed on the Phantoms in the AHL for the start of the 2019-20 season. He played a significant role during his brief stint there, playing in 16 games and scoring five goals and seven assists for 12 points.

Morgan Frost
Morgan Frost (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He caught the eye of many throughout the hockey world, including both Flyers’ general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Vigneault. The Flyers were playing around a .500 win/loss pace, and Vigneault felt a call-up was needed in order to give the rest of the team a much-needed shakeup. There were also a few players who he was not impressed with in recent games, and these were guys who were expected to be leaders for the hockey club (from ‘Amid Morgan Frost’s call-up, Alain Vigneault sends another message,’ Courier Post, 11/18/2019).

Alain Vigneault Philadelphia Flyers
Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It was quite the leap to go from playing in the OHL one year prior to playing in an NHL game, but Frost would get the shot he waited his whole life for and he was going to do whatever he could to take advantage of this opportunity. It wouldn’t take long for the results to show, either.

A Chilly Impact

Frost made his NHL debut on Nov. 19 against the Florida Panthers. On top of that, he tallied his first goal in the NHL. Unfortunately, in the bigger picture, the Flyers lost by a final score of 5-2, but the glimpse of what Frost could bring to the table down the line was seen in flashes, and it did not stop after his first game.

In his first three games as a Flyer, he posted another goal and an assist to keep up the point-per-game status. While three games is such a small sample size — he has since played in six other games and has gone pointless — the fact that Frost can jump right into an NHL lineup and already fit in among his new teammates, some having played the game for many years, speaks volumes.

Morgan Frost Philadelphia Flyers
Morgan Frost, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Making the transition from the AHL to the NHL can be a difficult task, one that has been a constant problem for thousands of players in the past and present. Many do not make that jump, and for others that do, they get stuck in a pattern between getting called up for a few stints and then get sent back down to mainly play in the minors.

There is a quickness to learn that I have seen through Frost’s play on the Flyers. He can adapt to the NHL game, and that is why he is having as much success right away as he is. This is a difference that separates some players who stay up in the NHL, and some of those who continue to get sent back down.

While he still has a lot to learn, Frost is showing early signs of what could be a large impact going forward in the Flyers’ future. There was hype surrounding what Frost was doing outside of the pros, and the fans and team alike are getting a sense of what he can potentially bring to the organization.