Maple Leafs Prospect Report: Matt Frattin Finally Ready?


Every week throughout the NHL season and off-season, we will be updating you on the development, potential and realistic expectations for key Toronto Maple Leafs prospects with up-to-date stats, analysis and scouting reports.

While I’m sure the first thing most of you are going to say is “how is a 27-year-old still considered a prospect?”. My rebuttal to that is the way he has dominated play in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, scoring 26 goals and 22 assists for 48 points in 59 games played, and yet not been ready for the NHL the last two chances he’s had to make an impact.

With top prospect William Nylander and Byron Froese, Frattin has been apart of the Marlies best attacking line all season. Together they’ve put up 58 goals and 64 assists for 122 points, and have really played off of each other well. Playing with such a skilled player like Nylander has brought Frattin back to life, and the Marlies are humming with him back to his old self.

Getting To Know Matt Frattin:

Age: 27

Position: RW/LW

Height / Weight: 6ft / 205lbs

Shoots: Right

Drafted: Round 4, 99th Overall, 2007 NHL Entry Draft

Contract Status: 1 Year Remaining, 850K, UFA at the end of next season

League / Team: AHL / Toronto Marlies

With Matt Frattin finally looking like the power driving winger of the 2011-2012 season – where he led the Marlies to the Calder Cup finals. Since he injured his knee in the western conference finals of that playoff run, Matt Frattin has never truly been the same player.

Where once he would drive the net with speed, beating defenders to the outside before cutting in – now, he would dump and chase the puck. Where once he would relentlessly attack the puck on the fore-check – now, he would hang high on the half boards. Some of that can be attributed to coaching strategy changes, but Matt Frattin had become a shell of the player that scored 10 goals and 13 points in 13 games in the 11/12 AHL playoffs.

That appears to have changed this season, after bouncing around between LA and Columbus, Frattin found his way home to Toronto and has returned with that puck hunger that made him such a potent offensive force.

Playing with clear offensive talent and in a prominent top 6 scoring role has also brought back the Matt Frattin that is clearly too good a player for the AHL. With the Leafs looking to go through a rebuild and Frattin on an expiring contract, they need to give him a shot at top 6 minutes, with offensively inclined players (he’s had chemistry with Kadri in the AHL) next season.

If he bombs out and proves me wrong and he is just a twiner that is too good for the AHL but not good enough for the NHL, then the Leafs haven’t lost anything. However, if he takes that next step in the evolution of his game then the Leafs have a potentially valuable asset on their hands that they can keep around until Connor Brown and company are ready to take over, or move at the deadline if Matt Frattin improves his value by going on a tear.

Either way, Matt Frattin deserves a chance to play in a scoring role at the NHL level, not just on the 4th line for a few minutes every game. again gives us a great breakdown of Matt Frattin’s talent level;

"“Frattin uses his excellent shot to back defenders off down the wing and shows good hands when opportunities arise in close. Due to a quick, hard release he often catches goalies off guard. He has a squatty build at 6`1 and 206 pounds. He is not afraid to do the dirty work in the corners, but is at his best when posted up in the slot. His added strength over his four NCAA years has strengthened his skating ability. He’s extremely dangerous off the rush and can find ways to jump into open-ice; a snipers trademark.”"

NHL Upside: Matt Frattin

More from Maple Leafs News

Upside: 2nd Line Power Winger – 20+G 50+Pts

Realistic Projection: Top 9 Power Winger and 200ft player

NHL Ready: Now – aka 2015-2016

NHL Player Comparable: Rick Nash (lite), same puck driving instincts, but nowhere near the same hands or offensive awareness.

Next week we’ll continue to break down the Leaf’s prospect pipeline. Specifically, the prospects ready to make an impact with the Leafs next season.

As always, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on twitter @TorrinBatchelor as you can never have too many conversations about hockey in a day!

More from Editor In Leaf