Saying farewell: Matt Frattin is now a Los Angeles King

Matt Frattin is now a Los Angeles King.  

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The important thing here… What do the Leafs lose, what can visiting Los Angeles Kings fans expect from him?

Frattin, as I’ve sure you’ve all heard, is a 25-year-old depth winger coming off a 7-goal/25-game performance in the shortened season. He’s spent the better part of two years jumping up and down between the Leafs and the Toronto Marlies, and for a Bottom Six winger has some pretty good shooting talent. He wasn’t a puck-possession specialist that the Kings really like to work for, but he should help the team out by getting into good shooting areas, and as a quick player who was very good at forechecking in Randy Carlyle’s system should nicely fit in a depth role on a Darryl Sutter puck-recovery system that likes to dump-and-chase a lot.

Last year I made the argument that Frattin was a replacement-level player, but compared to the actual replacement-level players that played worse than Frattin but more for some strange reason, he was pretty useful. At 25, he’s not going to develop into a player that can score 20 goals (he has 82 career games and 15 goals and that’s probably his offensive peak) and at just 1.7 shots per game, he’s not a type of player who is ever going to fit in an NHL Top Six in any significant role, particularly not in Los Angeles where he’ll be behind a bevy of quality wingers.

All that said, Frattin put up a relative Corsi of 11.9 last season as the Leafs took more shot attempts with him on the ice as opposed to off the ice. That’s a byproduct on playing mostly with Nazem Kadri. According to Left Wing Lock, the top three line combinations that Frattin belonged to also deployed Kadri. The first was with Leo Komarov as the opposite winger, the second was Clarke MacArthur and the third was Nik Kulemin.

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Frattin and Kadri together put up a 48.8% Corsi rate. We don’t have quality of competition numbers spread with and without, but Frattin put up a 47.3% when he was away from Kadri. When he wasn’t with Kadri, his centreman was generally Mikhail Grabovski so you’d expect that Frattin saw his fair share of tough foes this season. The Leafs put up awful Corsi numbers this season so that percentage for Frattin isn’t reflective of his own ability, but generally the reality of the entire team and the collapsing defensive zone scheme employed by Randy Carlyle that generated a lot of shots against.

Overall, I’d suggest that Frattin isn’t a player that inhibits possession, but there isn’t a lot of evidence that he provides it, either. From Los Angeles’ perspective, he has some speed and finishing ability that the team doesn’t exactly have. For the Leafs, they’re unfortunately losing another one of their depth wingers to go with Leo Komarov and (likely) Clarke MacArthur.

The Leafs also spend probably their best trading chip in Frattin. He was an expendable player that had a lot of real good moments that made him a player that fans loved to dream on and scouts probably saw a little more in than Carlyle. He was a goalpost away from being the overtime hero in Game 4 of the Leafs’ playoff series against Boston, so his most memorable moment was the one in the screenshot above, his overtime buzzer beater in an early season game in Buffalo.

Like I said, he shows a lot on this play, but it’s not exactly the norm for him. He’s a useful player whose type will be missed in Toronto—a depth winger that could actually skate.

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  • Jeremy Ian

    In his rookie year he started to play better in the second half. Last yr, he flew out of the gate, and then injured his knee. He was never able to put his knee issues behind him and play on a regular basis or line. He will score 25 next season. You’re looking at too small of a sample to say he won’t get better or score more than the 15 he’s put up. At least 50 of those games he was a overwhelmed rook, and the rest with a bum knee. You can’t teach that kind of speed, on a regular line and healthy, we will finally see what his potential is. You saying he’s peaked already is premature.

    • His scoring at the start of last season was percentages-induced. His lack of scoring in the second half was probably thanks more to a regression to the mean than any lingering health issues.

      On that team, behind those players, I don’t think he gets the opportunity to score 25. That’s an optimistic forecast. I think he’s an above average scorer for a depth winger, but doesn’t contribute enough defensively to be considered much more than replacement.

      • Your adstats say one thing, my lying eyes say another. The sample is too small and spread out over two seasons. With 2 knee surgeries thrown in. I say we didn’t see enough of him healthy and on a regular line. I base that on watching/playing hockey for 40 years, not on anything as concrete as stats. If it was one full season without injury or line shuffles and healthy scratches, I might buy what your numbers say, but my eyes see a strong lower body that can fly and can shoot. He’ll get more than 15. College grads start older and take a couple of years to get used to the speed/skill of the game and to get used to playing 80-100 gms as opposed to 40 odd games. His age is not a negative yet, some players peak at an older age, see St Louis, Martin, or Thomas, Tim as extreme examples of my POV.

  • jasken

    I honestly dont believe they would let Frattin go without a plan. It’s beneficial for Frattin and great for his future in NHL but lets be honest here Nonis has some sort of plan. Letting go of young talent is hard but sometimes it is a must to move forward to be better team.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Bernier = Rask. One only need to look at the careers. The careers are identical. High draft pick. Unending praise from people who actually know what they are talking about. Stuck behind a superstar Conn Smythe hero. Getting the chance to shine in their mid 20’s with less than 100 career starts.

    Frattin is what he is as to paraphrase The Big Tuna. A 25 year old with 15 career goals. A dime a dozen type. Also less than 25% of second round picks have proper NHL careers.

    This is why fantasy leagues exist. So guys who irrationally fall in love with their teams assets don’t pursue NHL GM jobs. The Leafs gave up a bag of pucks. Matt Frattin , Jonathan Bernier , people are complaining? Seriously?