October 27, 2013 12:03 pm

Frattin appreciative of Eakins’ impact

Matt Frattin has several ties to the Edmonton Oilers. A native of the city of Edmonton, Frattin grew up going to “a couple [of Oilers games] a year,” and played bantam and midget hockey for the Canadian Athletic Club, located just north of the city. Prior to attending the University of North Dakota, he spent the 2006-07 season putting up 83 points over 58 games for the AJHL’s Fort Saskatchewan traders, a team that was located just over 15 miles northeast of central Edmonton.

“I was from there, so I definitely was an Oilers fan,” he said.

On top of his Albertan roots, he also played for Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins for AHL-Toronto while a member of the Maple Leafs organization, and had only positive things to say about the coach whom he played under during parts of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

“He’s more of a players’ coach. He likes to get to know the players, and that’s something. But he can also crack the whip when he needs to,” Frattin said. “He’s a great coach. Great, positive impact every time I was with him.”

The impact Eakins had on Frattin was represented in the statistics the then-first-year pro put up in en route to the 2012 Calder Cup Finals. Frattin, who turned 24 during the second half of the 2011-12 season, led the Toronto Marlies with 10 postseason goals as a part of a point-a-game effort during the club’s run to the 2012 Western Conference Championship. Though the Marlies were swept by the Norfolk Admirals – a team that won its final 28 regular season games – in the Calder Cup Final, Frattin did not play in the championship series due to a knee injury.

When Eakins left the Toronto organization to accept the head coaching position in Edmonton, Frattin reached out.

“The last time I talked to him, I just gave him a text to congratulate him on the job. He’s a great coach. He’s really good with young players,” Frattin said. “I’m sure he’s kind of trying to get his system implemented over there. That’s something that’s going to take time, but he’s a great coach, so it’ll be awesome there.”

Frattin, on whether 6:00 p.m. starts throw a wrinkle in the routine:
Not for me. Pre-game skate’s earlier, we’re kind of just on the same time frame. I played in the AHL for a little while, so you have those 1:00, 4:30 starts, so it’s always switching around there.

Frattin, on his goal off a deflection, and whether it felt good to score as a King:
Definitely. That’s a relief. Just went to the net, and Drew put a good shot on net, and I just kind of got a stick on it and fooled the goalie. But yeah, it’s definitely good to get the first one out of the way, for sure.

Frattin, on whether he took advantage of the slight break in the recent schedule:
Yeah, it’s more of just taking care of the body off the ice, and that’s something you’ve got to do and look out for. These next three games – also traveling to Phoenix and then coming back and playing San Jose the next game – it’s going to be tough. Just got to hydrate the body throughout those four days.

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