Among the most familiar faces in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2014 class of offseason acquisitions is 26-year-old Matt Frattin. Drafted 99th overall by the Leafs in 2007, Frattin returns to the Blue and White just a year after the Leafs sent him to Los Angeles as part of the trade that brought Jonathan Bernier to Toronto.
Frattin played 1 game for the Leafs during the 2010-11 season before cracking the lineup full-time in 2011-12. In 56 games as a rookie, he scored 8 goals and posted 7 assists.
Frattin’s best play as a Leaf came at the outset of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, when he recorded 10 points in as many games to start the season. Following his hot story, a lingering knee injury kept Frattin out of the lineup for nearly a month. Frattin could not pick up where he left off after returning, scoring 3 points in 15 games. He was traded to Los Angeles shortly after the season.
He played 40 games with the Kings in 2013-14, recording just 6 points before being sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline. His Blue Jackets career was short-lived, appearing in 4 games before a July 1st trade returned him to Toronto in exchange for Jerry D’Amigo and a conditional 7th round draft pick.
Frattin played on the 3rd line for much of his Leafs career, also serving on the 2nd and 4th lines at different points. In LA and Columbus, he was predominately used on the 4th line. He is naturally a right winger, but has moved to the left temporarily on both LA and Toronto.
Frattin’s skill set is one that can fit in on almost any line. He possesses a much sought-after combination of strength and speed, shoots and protects the puck well, drives the net with power and can catch opponents off-guard with deceptive physicality. On the down side, Frattin can lack awareness on offense when off-the-puck, and struggles with consistency and confidence can see him fail to produce for long stretches of play.
Big Question: Where in Toronto’s lineup do you think Frattin will slot into and what sort of role do you see him playing? Could he challenge for the vacant #2RW job alongside former linemate Nazem Kadri?