Flyers analysis

As trade deadline nears, Frost vying for more, believes in future with Flyers

Frost is in Year 1 of a two-year, $4.2 million contract

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Much was made of when Morgan Frost sought out his head coach for a 1-on-1 discussion in January.

The 24-year-old voiced his thoughts after being a healthy scratch for the 11th time this season. John Tortorella was "thrilled" by Frost's initiative and honesty, calling it "a huge step" for the coach and player.

It felt like a notable breakthrough. Was it? Or did us inquisitive writers read too much into it?

"I've been asked that so many times. I think the media did," Frost said with a smile Tuesday. "But, yeah, I think it was just to kind of get some things off my chest. You're not seeing him every day and just having that kind of conversation in the hallway. I felt like there were some things that I needed to say. I don't know if it's a breakthrough or not, but I think it gives a better understanding."

Frost hasn't sat since that Jan. 4 benching, putting up four goals and 12 assists in 19 games. His 16 points over that span are the second most on the Flyers, behind only Travis Konecny's 19.

His minutes have climbed to 18:35 per game in the last five games. He's playing 15:46 per game on the season.

When the playmaking center is creating chances or if the Flyers need offense, Tortorella will lean on Frost later in games. And when Frost is checking well and being reliable in all three zones, it makes him a more trustworthy player.

"A little bit more, for sure," Frost said. "I don't think I'm all the way there yet. I still have a fair amount of mishaps defensively, kind of like in the outdoor game. It's not something I'm trying to do obviously, I'm working hard to be good on both sides of the puck. I think when he sees that I'm kind of feeling it out there, then he starts giving me more ice time. I think if I'm having a good game, then he's more willing to put me out in the last couple of minutes."

Tortorella would agree there's still more work to do.

"Depends if he plays well," the head coach said Tuesday. "He'll play if he plays well. I still think there are inconsistencies. We'll see where it goes."

Morgan Frost rifled home his ninth goal of the season on a penalty shot.

There was reasonable fear of an impasse with Tortorella and Frost in the opening two months of the season. Frost was benched for six straight games and 10 of the club's first 20 games. When a young center sits that many times on a team emphasizing youth in a rebuild, it's fair to wonder if he's viewed as a part of the future.

To Frost's credit, he was steadfast in staying positive. He expressed belief in his ability to make "a big impact" for the Flyers and did not lose sight of being a good teammate.

Frost has 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) and a plus-6 rating in 46 games this season. With the March 8 NHL trade deadline about two weeks away, one would think it's likely he's still a Flyer when it passes. He's in Year 1 of a two-year, $4.2 million contract that he signed last September and he's a young player that plays a premium position.

But the Flyers are a team that's willing to listen and you can bet other clubs kept tabs on Frost's precarious position earlier in the season.

Frost, himself, sees his future in Philadelphia. He has played a role in the Flyers' turnaround and wants to see it through.

"Oh yeah, for sure, that has never changed for me," Frost said. "I hope so. That's a little out of my control, but that's all I want to do, I love this group of guys. Especially some of these young guys that I've kind of come up with, I'm really excited about what's being built here and the future. I've got to show it in my play and earn it, but I don't think that will ever change. I think that I'll always want to be here."

And if he wants to seek out Tortorella, he knows he can.

"If you have something that you're feeling and you feel it's important to go talk to him about it, his door is always open," Frost said. "He welcomes that. I don't think it's something that you want to force, I don't want to be a guy going in there all the time, I don't think he'd like that too much. But if you feel like there's something you need to say, I've done it a couple of times, so I feel comfortable doing that."

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