After an elbow by Anaheim Ducks’ Sami Vatanen left forward David Booth with a broken nose, 27-year-old Matt Frattin finally got a call up to join the big club Thursday night and looked good in his return.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 15, 2015
During the Maple Leafs 3-1 loss to the Sharks, Frattin started the evening playing on the fourth line with fellow Marlies call-ups Troy Bodie and Sam Carrick. By the end of the night Frattin had been bumped up and the team found David Clarkson playing on the team’s bottom trio. And Frattin would like to see that trend continue into the future.
Frattin Has Come Full-Circle
It’s been a bumpy ride for Frattin during his NHL career, struggling to cement a permanent spot with an NHL club. After being drafted in the fourth round by the Buds back in 2007, Frattin got his first real taste with the team during the 2011-12 season when he played 56 games with the team recording eight goals and 15 points. His inconsistency at the NHL level and his success in the American Hockey League saw him go up and down from each league over the past couple seasons. Between two seasons spent with the Maple Leafs organization from 2011-2013, Frattin had 15 goals and 28 points in 81 games with the Leafs and 23 goals and 35 points in 44 games with the Marlies. Ultimately the Leafs traded the offensive right winger following the 2012-13 season along with goaltender Ben Scrivens and conditional second-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for Jonathan Bernier. Unfortunately for Frattin, the trade did not benefit him as much as it did the Maple Leafs. He played in 40 games with the Cup champs and had just two goals and six points with the team. The Kings then traded Frattin to the Columbus Blue Jackets where he played just four games tallying just one assist. He didn’t seem to fit in with the Jackets and during the off-season he was moved back to Toronto in exchange for forward Jerry D’Amigo. However, the return to the Maple Leafs didn’t spark the turnaround that the Edmonton native was hoping for.
This Year Has Been Up and Down
Frattin started the season with the Leafs, but after registering no points in the team’s first six games the 6-foot-1 winger was sent down to the Marlies. The time with the team’s AHL affiliate looks to have done him well. In 22 games with the team this season Frattin is tied for the team lead in goals with 10 to go along with three helpers. He also leads the Marlies with a shooting percent of 18.9% and is tied for the team-lead in powerplay goals.
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) January 3, 2015
Interim head coach Peter Horachek obviously liked we had seen from Frattin, not only putting him in the lineup, but moving him higher up the chain during Thursday’s contest. In fact his 9:25 of ice-time against the Sharks was his highest total this season.
Must Take Advantage
Frattin has shown some greats ups, but some equally great downs during the season. In fact back in November he was even put on waivers by the team. The move looks to have since gotten Frattin going and the Marlies alternate captain has seven goals and 10 points in his last 13 games. There is no question he has great offensive potential, but he has never delivered long enough to make it worth the team’s while to keep him around.
The Maple Leafs gave Frattin a second chance when they brought him back this off-season and Horachek has now given him a second chance by implementing him into the lineup. It is now time for the former Hobey Baker finalist to prove he deserves to stay.
Craig is an intern at The Hockey News where he has written for both the website and the magazine. He is also a featured-blogger at http://www.hockeyforums.net/index.php/blog/46-its-a-canadian-game/. Craig has an Honours in Journalism from Wilfird Laurier University and is currently completing the Sports Journalism Program at Centennial College. Follow him on Twitter @Craig_Hagerman.