In the 2017 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers had two first round picks. The first selection, the second overall, was Nolan Patrick, came from the fact that the Flyers didn’t have a very good season. The second selection, the 27th, came via a trade with St. Louis for Brayden Schenn. With that selection, Ron Hextall selected Morgan Frost, a pick that many thought might be a second round pick.
While all eyes were on Patrick, and rightfully so, Frost came in with other high expectations. One of the draft reports on him said:
"“Frost is a very good skater. He has good top end speed as well as very good acceleration. His first step is excellent.”"
Hextall added this about Frost:
"“There are very few guys where our whole staff likes the guy, and our whole staff liked this guy. He’s an extremely intelligent player and reads the ice well. Good two-way player who showed up good in the testing.”"
His first few years in Philly left much more wanting in the hearts of Flyers fans. First of all, he couldn’t stay healthy. He had a groin injury his rookie year. He had shoulder problems the next two seasons. It was looking as if Frost would be a bust just like Patrick had been due to injuries.
When he played, he was streaky. Part of that also was due to other players, like Sean Couturier, getting injured, and Alain Vigneault juggling lines around. Without a consistent group of linemates, it was hard for him to get comfy. He did not go into the playoff bubble with the Flyers in 2020. In parts of three seasons, he played just 77 games with seven goals and 16 assists. Ouch.
So when John Tortorella took the reins of the team and said that he was “going to play the kids“, he meant that he was going to see what young talent the Flyers had and who was worth holding onto. And despite being just 22 years old, Frost was looking like he was running out of time.
Frost used opening night as an audition to show what he had to offer. Against the New Jersey Devils, Frost scored twice. Soon after, he went on an 11 game scoreless streak. It would be the longest of the season.
And while that wouldn’t be his only scoreless streak of the season, he also would have runs where he would score often. Counting opening night, he had three two-goal games this season. Overall, he had eight multi-point games, including two four point performances; both of which for some reason came against the Coyotes.
For the season, Frost had 19 goals and 27 assists. And he just turned 23. The future is bright for this kid. And the more confidence he gains, the more you see it translated on the ice. He is going to be one of the foundational pieces for this franchise and is worth building around. Just wait…the best is yet to come.