Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs will see many new faces on the bench next season. From David Booth to Petri Kontiola, Stephane Robidas to Roman Polak, the Leafs have added several new names to their roster.
Fortunately, there will be some familiar faces returning to the bench as well. The return of Leo Komarov is the most exciting in this respect, but there’s also the return of Matt Frattin, who should give the Leafs some scoring depth on the bottom two lines, to consider.
Frattin, as you may already know, was drafted by Toronto in 2007. They landed him in the fourth round as the 99th overall pick. Medium to high expectations were set for Frattin with many Leafs fans dubbing him a potential 20-30 goal scorer.
At this point in his career, it’s still hard to gauge the true potential of Frattin. He’s never played a full season in the NHL, topping 50 games only once. He’s also been traded to three different clubs in the past year – the Los Angeles Kings, the Columbus Blue Jackets and now the Toronto Maple Leafs – which might say something about his maturity. Fortunately, there’s still room for him to grow and develop given he’s only 26 years of age.
Frattin registered a career-high 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) across 56 games during the 2011-2012 season playing for the Leafs. I’m sure he can easily top this total given the proper chance to play and a defined role on the team next season.
Regarding Frattin’s three previous seasons with the Leafs, he’s really known for two things: 1) he failed to score on a late breakaway opportunity in that critical Game 7 against the Boston Bruins two springs ago; and 2) he formed part of the package deal that landed Jonathan Bernier from the Kings.
When the new season opens, I’m sure Frattin will be hoping to create some new memories in Toronto – positive ones for him this time.
Is it finally his time to shine? We’ll have to wait and see.