Frattin happy with season but looking forward to joining the Toronto Maple Leafs

By DJ Powers

North Dakota senior Matt Frattin (TOR) capped an excellent final season, leading the nation in goal-scoring with 36 and finishing with 60 points, which currently ranks second nationally. He was named a Hobey Hat Trick finalist and, most recently, was selected to the All-America West First Team.

Hockey’s Future caught up with Frattin following North Dakota’s semi-final game versus Michigan on Thursday night, as well as following the Hobey Baker ceremony on Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.

Q: You were named to the Hobey Hat Trick along with two other great players in Miami’s Andy Miele (PHO) and Boston College’s Cam Atkinson (CBJ). How does it feel to be named alongside those guys?

MF: Obviously, Cam was there last year and he’s a finalist again this year. He had a phenomenal year again this year, so he’s obviously doing some great things to be named a finalist. Andy is the nation’s top scorer and has a lot of assists, so obviously he’s a great playmaker and played on a very good Miami too. So it’s really good to be in there with those two because only three players make it each year and it’s a real honor to be one of them this year.

Q: What do you feel have been some of the contributing factors to your phenomenal season?

MF: I think it’s just hard work in the off-season. I worked as hard as I could in the off-season to prepare myself for a good start this season and have tried to maintain that throughout the year. Playing with Evan Trupp and Brad Malone (COL) for the majority of the season has been great because we just feed off of each other so well that we know where the others are. You get the puck, just try to find the soft spots and get it on net as quickly as possible to kind of catch the (opposing) goalie by surprise. So I’ve been fortunate that it has happened for me this year.

Q: You also seem to have a renewed sense of commitment and determination that has also benefited your team as well. Would you agree with the assessment?

MF: Yeah, every player on our team is always trying to make the others better. And the way that you do that is working as hard you can and making other people work as hard as they can. If they’re not working as hard as they can, they won’t be able to keep up. That’s just what our team tries to do, which is make each other better both in practice and in games.

Q: Do you feel like you’ve become more of an accountable individual both on and off the ice?

MF: Definitely. It’s just been a maturing process that I went through and I think I’ve definitely matured from it. I’ve been able to change my character, I guess you can say, and just became a man. It was a real growing up experience that I went through and it was well-needed.

Q: What have been some of the areas that you’ve improved in that has made you a better and a more well-rounded player?

MF: I think just my determination and in my motivation. I had those things in juniors and when I came here to North Dakota, I just thought that everything was going to be handed to me. I took it for granted in the first two years and when I came back in my junior year, I had the opportunity to get some playing time and took it seriously. My play just took off from there and I’ve never looked back.

Q: You just signed a contract with Toronto, so when do you expect to join the team?

MF: I’m flying out tomorrow (Saturday) morning (from Grand Forks, ND). I’m very excited about joining the team.

Q: What are you going to be able to bring to the Toronto Maple Leafs?

MF: I think I’ll be able to bring a good work ethic and a hard-nosed game that helps to produce some offense to the Leafs.

Q: Have you been to any of their prospect camps?

MF: Yes. I’ve been to their prospects camps for the last four years, but I’m really excited to be finally going to their main camp (Laughs).