Well, Morgan Frost has stumbled into the biggest opportunity he has had so far in his career. Kevin Hayes will start the season in the injured list, and the team has very few other options to step into a top six center role, so Frost will likely be called upon to fill the role.
One of the biggest storylines heading into camp was exactly where Frost would fit in. After signing Derick Brassard and Nate Thompson, the depth center roles were filled, and the bottom six probably isn’t the best spot for Frost in the NHL to begin with. But now that the second line center role has opened, he’ll be put in a role to succeed.
Morgan Frost is a playmaker, plain and simple. He’ll do his best work with quality linemates. Theoretically, as a member of the top six, there’s a good chance he’ll lineup amongst the likes of Joel Farabee, Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, the best offensive talent the team has to offer.
By all accounts, he has looked good during development camp, rookie camp, and the rookie scrimmages against the Rangers. That’s all great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll translate perfectly to a real NHL game. Deking around a coach standing still in a drill is very different from deking around a defenseman who wants to take your head off.
The pressure on Frost comes with the lack of depth. In a perfect world, Frost would get an opportunity to play in the top six with Kevin Hayes there as a cushion in the case that Frost can’t hang in the NHL just yet. But he won’t have that luxury. With Hayes on the shelf, the other options down the middle are Sean Couturier, who will hold down the fort on the top line, Derick Brassard and Nate Thompson, who were brought in to man the third and fourth line. If things get out of control, they could always shift Giroux back to center, despite it not being the best idea.
Frost probably won’t have a bigger opportunity come his way again. Thinking back to his first taste of NHL action in 2019-20, it was because Sean Couturier was hurt. He failed to impress then, but now that he is older and has a whole lot more to prove this time around, it’s not quite make or break, but if he for whatever reason, can’t snag the 2C role now with literally no competition, it’ll be a massive blow to any potential he has left.
If Frost does holds down the fort on the second line, when Hayes returns he could slot into the third line and take a bigger defensive role, that way Frost can continue to succeed offensively.
All eyes will be in Morgan Frost come the start of the season. He certainly possesses the offensive skill to dazzle at the NHL level, but it’s about where his overall game is at. Now hopefully, Alain Vigneault will cater to Frost and avoid putting him in defensive circumstances that are over his head. If he is deployed properly with the team’s top scorers and not thrown in to the deep end in situations he isn’t ready for, Frost could very well succeed in the NHL. This could be a career-making opportunity for the 22-year-old.
Just get ready, take your plants inside and carry a jacket, according to the weather channel, there is a Frost warning in Philly.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: tsn.ca