Back for a second stint with the team that drafted him, Matt Frattin is a Leaf once again. Thank God, because his chemistry with, uh, other, uh, people, uh, was quite clearly the missing ingredient in last year’s disastrous season. Jokes aside, Frattin had a a rough season as well, and hopes to bounce back in a familiar setting.
Frattin was traded by the Leafs to the Los Angeles Kings in the Jonathan Bernier deal on June 23rd, 2013. In 40 games with the Kings, Frattin scored only two goals and six points, sported an ugly 3.3% shooting percentage on only 60 shots, and saw only 11:58 of ice time per game on average. It probably was not what the Kings were expecting, who had early designs of lining up Frattin alongside the likes of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Instead, Frattin was a healthy scratch on a number of occasions, and couldn’t compete with the Kings’ fantastic depth.
While not terribly effective in Los Angeles, Frattin did turn out to be an effective trade piece, being dealt once again along with a couple draft picks to the Columbus Blue Jackets. In return, the Kings landed Marian Gaborik, a key piece in the Los Angeles’ run to their second Stanley Cup in three years.
Frattin, unfortunately, didn’t do much in Columbus either, appearing in only four games and often finding himself in he press box. A soon-to-be RFA, Frattin might have even been allowed to hit the open market had the Leafs not swooped in at the last moment and acquired their former player for forward Jerry D’Amigo and a 2015 seventh round pick.
When the Leafs acquired Frattin, it was easy to imagine him slotting somewhere on the third or fourth line. Then, the Leafs went out and signed Mike Santorelli, David Booth, and Daniel Winnik, to go along with a returning Leo Komarov, newcomer Petri Kontiola, and camp hopefuls Peter Holland, Carter Ashton, and William Nylander.
While perhaps not the most skilled bunch, the Leafs have plenty of bodies and just not as many roster spots. That means that Frattin will have to earn every minute of ice time he gets, and might not be the everyday player that people imagined.
Don’t worry, there is good news. Frattin had a tough 2013-14 campaign, but there is something to be said about the possibility of a bounce back in Toronto. Looking at the Relative Corsi chart below, it’s pretty easy to see that Frattin was a pretty good Leaf and a pretty miserable King and Blue Jacket. He’s enjoyed success in the Toronto market, and it isn’t unreasonable to think that Frattin could be an effective player once again.
Corsi doesn’t win hockey games. Well, it doesn’t win fantasy hockey games, at least. (Yet.) The best that fantasy owners could possibly hope for is that Frattin impresses early and earns a spot on flanking Nazem Kadri on the second like, but that’s a significant long shot. Even then, he’d be one of the least reliable or desirable second line options in the game. Stay away from Frattin, there’s little fantasy value here.
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It’s a little damning that there aren’t a whole lot of “Matt Frattin Scores Epic Goal” videos on YouTube, but this will do.