It’s almost time for another Philadelphia Flyers season and we once again have the same storyline: will Morgan Frost earn a roster spot out of Training Camp?
Frost, the 27th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, has shown flashes of upside since his first camp with the Flyers. He has been in the conversation as a potential piece on the Flyers roster for a few years now.
In his post-draft season, Frost had 112 points (42 goals, 70 assists) in 67 OHL games with the Soo Greyhounds. He added 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 24 playoff games.
That sparked excitement around Frost and his NHL readiness.
However, he went back to the OHL for one final season and put up another 100-plus point season –– 109 to be exact –– with 37 goals and 72 assists in just 58 games. He also had eight points (four goals, four assists) in five World Juniors games.
Frost then graduated from juniors and turned pro. The question was if he was good enough to stick with the Flyers or if some time with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms would be good for the young forward. Ultimately, Frost was an early-season call-up and scored goals –– some pretty good ones at that –– in each of his first two games. He stuck around through late December, but only had four points after his first two games. It was clear that Frost had the skills, but could use improvements away from the puck.
Last season, an injury to Sean Couturier in the team’s second game opened the door for Morgan Frost. Unfortunately, like Couturier, Frost got injured in his second game of the year. A dislocated shoulder ended his season.
Now, Frost has a full offseason behind him and is ready to grab the bull by the horns. But it may not be that easy. The Flyers have depth in the bottom six and signed Derick Brassard last month.
Frost is ready for the challenge.
“It’s exciting. I’ve kind of had the same mindset for the last two or three camps now and I definitely want to make the team,” Frost said. “So anything I can do to stand out; if I have to take someone’s spot or whatever, I’m willing to do that. Just work hard in camp and we’ll see what happens.”
The promising forward has learned a lot as he works his way to the NHL. The transition between the OHL and professional hockey can be challenging, and Frost felt that.
“When I was in junior it was kind of just playing freely and that kind of thing. When you get to pro it’s a lot more of a mental battle,” Frost said. “Especially with the injury and being up and down between teams, it’s a mental battle. I think I’ve become a lot more mentally strong through it all. I feel like a better person, a more mature person.”
Frost hasn’t only grown as a person, but in the literal sense as well.
The center’s size has always been one of the knocks on him. Frost has been listed between 170 and 180 pounds in recent training camps, which some have questioned can stand up to the grind that is an 82-game season. Now, Frost says he’s just a little over 190 pounds and is hoping to stay there.
The 22-year-old forward is excited to be back on the ice. Frost has played in just two professional games since March 11th, 2020. He’s got to keep those skills sharp.
“I think the biggest thing when I had that injury, that was the longest I’ve ever been off the ice probably since I’ve started playing hockey,” Frost said. “I like to think that one of my better things is my hands and that was a little weird when I first got back on the ice, just felt a little off.”
The other thing? The physicality.
“In the summer you’re not really getting hit very much. I think it’s going to be good in camp to kind of get that feel back, not that I want to get hit too much,” Frost laughed. “It’ll be nice to feel that contact again. That’ll dial me in a little bit more mentally I think, too.”
Frost is going to have to be dialed in and on top of his game to earn a roster spot out of training camp. Derick Brassard and Nate Thompson are veteran insurance in case Frost isn’t ready. The two veterans want to prove that they still have it, and Frost wants to come in and finally put his stamp on the Flyers roster.
Will the third time be the charm for Morgan Frost? Only time will tell.
Photo: Heather Barry Images