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Player Evaluation: Michael Frolik
There is no doubt in my mind that Frolik possesses NHL talent. He’s already proven it in his early NHL career playing for the Florida
Last season though was quite the roller coaster ride for Frolik. You know the Dragon roller coaster that is at all the town fairs that just stays on the ground and goes around in a circle. Yeah, that kind of a “roller coaster” season. Frolik's game just never took off, and after playing decent minutes at the beginning of the season with no results he eventually was dropped to the 4th line and played sparingly while Viktor Stalberg played top line minutes. Come playoff time though, while Stalberg was stuck on his Dragon style roller coaster, Frolik ended up being given more minutes and actually produced in the 4 games he was dressed in.
Now, this next portion of this article is going to be my biased opinion as I think Frolik is better than he gets credit for. I no doubt agree that he was given every chance to perform but statistically did not rise to the occasion. Frolik was caught in a scoring slump that saw him get many chances but unfortunately could not capitalize. But, that still is not a reason to write him off. Frolik possesses great hockey sense and has a nose for the net. While he didn’t score as much, he still was able to get himself in position to get those chances, something some hockey players can’t even do right. Frolik has a long stride and good knee bend that, like Martin Havlat, gives him good boost of speed and makes him tough to knock off the puck. His stick skills are solid and he also protects the puck well. Frolik also isn’t afraid to go to the dirty area’s on the ice and grind it out.
Now, Frolik isn’t a bottom 6 player like he was last season. He’s not going to be much help for a team on the 4th line playing 8-10 minutes a night. He’s not your energy forward like a Hayes, Burish, Fraser or Shaw would be. With his style of play, he needs to get minutes and play with other talented guys in order for him to play to the best of his ability. Being centered on a line with Mayers and Hayes is not beneficial to him, or the team. Frolik has the talent, now it’s whether or not he gets the opportunity on the top 6 for him to prove to everyone he is as talented as his he has shown signs of in the past. After a season like last years, there is no doubt in my mind he comes back this season hungry to prove that he isn’t just a 4th line player. I'm going to base my prediction that Frolik comes back and makes his way back up on the top 6 at some point in the season.
PREDICTION: 70 GAMES PLAYED / 13 GOALS / 17 ASSISTS / 30 POINTS / MINUS-2
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