Matt Frattin’s numbers will leave you gobsmacked.
Despite playing just eight of the Marlies 21 games, the right-hand shooting right winger owns a share of the team’s goalscoring lead with seven.
Last spring Frattin scored 10 times in 13 playoff games before he was knocked out of the final contest of the third round. In 23 regular season AHL games Frattin scored 14 times.
That’s 31 goals in 44 AHL regular and post-season contests. Extrapolate that into an 80-game AHL season and you have a whopping 56 goals which, you might know, would be far and away the best total in the league.
Frattin also scored eight times in 56 Leaf games but buried two goals in his final four games with the big team. The year before he scored 36 goals in 44 games in his final collegiate year at the University of North Dakota.
You get the gist.
While locked out of the NHL things are still working out very nicely for Frattin who turns 25 next month.
“We’ve got a great team, pretty well the same players we had when we went to the finals with a few key additions,” Frattin said. “I’m trying to improve the little things you need to work on to be a pro at the NHL level, things like being better defensively and not turning the puck over.”
Aside from a foot infection that knocked him out of the Leafs lineup for two contests, Frattin has never missed a game due to injury. That didn’t make things any better when he blew a tire and flew into the net to score his last playoff goal in his final post-season moment. The collision left him with a torn left meniscus. Surgery and rehab followed.
Marlies coach Dallas Eakins is as surprised as anyone that Frattin has gone back to tearing up the league.
“You come off an injury like that in the NHL and you are going to produce quickly or you are going to be on the bench or in the stands,” Eakins said. “This is a perfect spot for him to come, have success and then if the NHL goes again he’ll be ready to show what he can do.”
Eakins looks south when determining how the hard-skating, six-foot, 200-pound Frattin will play.
“If you see him making contact that means he’s using his legs and he’s firmly engaged in the game,” Eakins said. “That’s when he’s into it and focused. He’s a competitive player. If you see him initiating contact early, you know there are better things to come.”
“Any player needs to be able to play an all-around game,” Frattin said. “When I play physical I get under the other team’s skin. I don’t take pride in it but it works. It gets me going and gets the rest of the team going.”