Morgan Frost Earning More Trust & Opportunity from John Tortorella

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Morgan Frost #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers passes the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Morgan Frost #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers passes the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It’s been an up and down season for Morgan Frost and John Tortorella, much like the unflattering analogy the Flyers head coach used to describe the 23-year-old back in November.

Frost has been one of the young players getting more of an opportunity due to injuries and the team being well out of the playoff race. Consistency has been an issue for Frost before. There are often flashes of what he can become. And that’s what Tortorella was eluding too. Though, maybe a better description would’ve done.

"“You look at Frosty, I still think he’s up and down like a toilet seat here, as far as you see him coming, then he dips, and then you see him coming.” Tortorella said in November. “Hopefully, it levels out and keeps going in the proper direction, because he’s supposed to be a skilled guy. You can see it’s there, but it’s still very inconsistent.”"

One things that has been clear about Tortorella is the way he talks about his players. There are his favorites, there are those he wants to like, and there are those he seems to have no interest in. Frost has been somewhere in the middle for of a majority of the season. He’s not someone Tortorella raves about like Noah Cates. But he’s also not someone Tortorella says mostly bad things about like Tanner Laczynski.

Frost has taken everything in stride, admitting he knows that he still has to prove himself. He’s done a good job of doing so offensively since the turn of the calendar year. He leads the Flyers in with 24 points in 36 games. If you look back even further, you could see just how good he’s been offensively.

Frost also has seven points in his last five games, most recently coming off a dominating two-goal performance. Now, he is beginning to thrive with more responsibility, something that we have seen with Owen Tippett as well. And for Tortorella, it’s important for Frost to be sound in all facets of the game.

After the Flyers win over Montreal, he talked about the things that Frost has been working on aside from his offensive game. The goals have been good to see, but it’s his play on the other side of the puck that has been encouraging as well.

"“Positioning, body positioning, battles. Just a 200-foot player. We know he has skill. We need to keep on seeing the skill. For a coach to put a player on the ice that he’s still not sure of, that other stuff has to be sound, and I think he’s really improved there.”"

That last part is key. Tortorella has not shied away from criticism of Frost throughout the season. So for him to talk about the improvement and encouraging nature of his play means good things. It seems like he isn’t quite sold based on the “still not sure of” comment.

But there’s also the concept of being fair to the player. Tortorella is forming his own opinions about players like Frost, but has had others in the organization share their thoughts. And the comments have spoken about just different he has looked from last year to now. Tortorella still wants to wait and see what happens over this last few games. But at least acknowledging the improvement is a step.

And Frost knows exactly what has been going on. He has continued to work on showing that he belongs.

"“I know the situation I’m in. I’m trying to do the right things. Whether it’s making more plays or be a little more reliable defensively. I think even faceoffs too, my faceoffs have been pretty terrible all year. I’m really just trying to hone in on that now and show that I can play a complete game. I want to be here in the future so every game is important.”"

It has been a career season offensively for Frost. He’s already played in 17 more games that he did last season. And he’s approaching more games this season than the last three seasons combined. He’s more than doubled his career high in points and has done the same in the goal department as well.

The other numbers are coming along as well. According to Natural Stat Trick, Frost is 10th on the team with a 48.07 CF%, though he’s really 8th when you take away players Brendan Lemieux and Lukas Sedlak who have a far lower sample size. You could even move him up to sixth if you take away Travis Konecny, who has been out for two months, and Cam York, who has played in 27 fewer games.

Cut it down to just this month alone and Frost’s other numbers jump off the page as well. Among all Flyers’ forwards, Frost leads the team with a staggering 58.80 xGF%. Even it out over a full season and Frost sits at a 47.84%. That is still sixth among Flyers’ regular forwards.

Regardless, Frost is improving in ways that Tortorella has wanted to see. He has nine more games to fully convince his head coach that he is a piece of the Flyers future.