Who might be the luckiest guy in Kings training camp this year? None other than Matt Frattin.
Not too shabby, eh?
Unlike some other players who occupied that spot last season, Frattin has also made the most of it thus far – picking up points in each of the two pre-season games he’s played in this month.
However, he’s not in Colorado for tonight’s game vs. the Avs. Instead, coach Darryl Sutter opted to take a forward group comprised of largely younger players, mostly prospects like Andy Andreoff, Brandon Kozun, Nick Shore, and Linden Vey.
Even so, Frattin is satisfied with how camp has been developing. He’s certainly more content following his personal performance Tuesday in Anaheim, which saw him score a power play goal and two assists.
“It was a little better,” he humbly said, comparing it to his first game, last weekend vs. the Coyotes. “Overall, I think we play a more possession, up-tempo game than we did against Phoenix. We had some good bounces and Quickie and Matty played good in net, too.”
With the intensity of training camp increasing as each day passes, Frattin says it’s more about repetition and timing than looking any specific feedback from Sutter and the coaching staff.
“Just keep trying to build chemistry with those line mates, that’s about it,” he said, when asked about the advice Sutter’s been sharing of late.
And bonding with those two is exactly what he’s been trying to do with each set of drills and practice. But, knowing that Sutter has basically said the second-line left wing position is Frattin’s to lose, does that add any pressure right now or actually make things easier?
“I think you have to perform everywhere you go,” remarked the 25-year old forward. “Anywhere you play, you’re going to have pressure, even if you’re first-line all the way down to the fourth. You’re fighting for a job. There’s people always coming up through the drafts, through the prospects. Everybody’s trying to take your job, and you have to continue to try and keep it.”
He’s also eagerly awaiting the regular season to roll around too, so he can see some of the Kings’ rivals up close and personal.
“In Toronto we had some pretty big rivalries,” he began. “Definitely now, Chicago, Anaheim, the Western Conferences – [the Kings] have a lot of rivalries, as well. I’m definitely going to be apart of that and I’ll learn as I go.”
Speaking of Toronto, during a recent radio broadcast it was noted that Frattin was ‘a bit of a tease’ there – showing occasional flashes of brilliance on the ice. Those words didn’t seem to sit too well with the former University of North Dakota standout.
“I thought I did pretty well. I mean, I started last year and really came out on fire and I kind of got injured after that. It was a tough year, but our team went to the playoffs for the first time in ten years for the Maple Leafs. So that’s an accomplishment just in itself.”
Due to the lockout-shortened schedule last season, Frattin has had limited exposure to other Western Conference teams since turning pro in 2011.
“My first year we played a couple of teams in the West. We played Anaheim, Dallas, Vancouver, Calgary. So we played everybody. But we do video on them [here] and all the guys already know defensemen and goalies, so they kind of give you a heads up on the other players you’re going up against. That’s just something you have to listen to – the older, veteran guys on our team. They’ll kind of lead you that way.”
One of those veterans, Dan Carcillo, has also supplied Frattin with a new nickname.
“Hot spot,” he shared, with a curious smile. “It’s just a name that came up. They gave me a description, so I just kind of go with the flow with that. Maybe find the right spot on the ice all the time. Maybe because he knew I didn’t have a nickname, he came up with that.”
Happy to have been traded to the Kings this summer, Hot Spot is certainly hoping LA is the right spot.
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