After weeks of speculation, the NHL announced its plan to resume the 2019-2020 season on Tuesday night. The league announced that it will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams, rather than the traditional 16. The teams included will be based on percentage points when the season was put on pause in March. As the Boston Bruins prepare for their playoff run, they are expected to see some reinforcements from Providence Bruins, as rosters are expected to be expanded.
In a zoom meeting with media last week, Providence coach Jay Leach highlighted Jack Studnicka and Trent Frederic as two players who could stick around to help. Both prospects are coming off of impressive seasons for Providence and already have NHL experience. They also have certain traits that will be needed in postseason play.
Studnicka is coming off a season that put him in some special company. In 60 games for Providence, the former second-round pick had 23 goals and 26 assists. He also tied a rookie record with seven shorthanded goals and was named to the 2019-2020 All-Rookie team.
Jack Studnicka scored his seventh short-handed goal of the season and it was a beauty. Studnicka flew the zone to separate and Steen delivered a picture-perfect pass. Studnicka received the pass, did the curl-and-drag and roofed it on his backhand. Special player. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/pfFO6xOrQR
— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) March 1, 2020
While Frederic’s season did not receive the same recognition, he had his most productive season in Providence yet. In 59 games, the St. Louis native had eight goals and 24 assists. Frederic also finished with a plus/minus rating of +10, which is his best mark in three seasons in Providence.
First NHL game, first NHL scrap for Trent Frederic, and his parents in the stands love it 👊👏 pic.twitter.com/IJJ4W03dWt
— Hockey Central (@HockeyCentraI) January 30, 2019
Assuming Frederic gets the call, he would probably be placed on the Bruins’ bottom lines. In 17 NHL games, Frederic has yet to record a point, but he has not backed down from any physical challenge. He would bring some toughness to the Bruins forwards group as he tries to build on his offensive success in the AHL.
While Frederic could boost the Bruins’ toughness, Studnicka would help improve the offense. The highly-touted prospect has appeared in two NHL games this season and was able to record one assist. In his brief NHL stint, Studnicka showed that he was ready for the NHL, which will only give the Bruins confidence in the postseason.
While the Bruins plans are far from final, these two prospects could make an impact down the stretch. After an extended break, they will be hungry to prove themselves on the game’s biggest stage.