Kendrick Frost grew up playing hockey in Kansas City, Mo., where he played for Omaha for three seasons. This year, Frost moved to New York to play for the Syracuse Jr. Stars of the NCDC. The ’99, who transitioned from defense to forward a few years ago, scored 36 points this season and earned a commitment to Army.
Neutral Zone chatted with Frost about his youth hockey experience, growing up in Kansas City and more.
Neutral Zone: How and when did you start playing hockey?
Kendrick Frost: I started playing hockey when I was around five. My uncle and my cousin played.
NZ: What’s your earliest memory from playing hockey?
KF: I would have to say going to the rink watching my cousin play and just kind of falling in love with the game there.
NZ: What was your youth hockey experience like?
KF: I played in Kansas City until I was about 14 and then I played for a team out of Nashville, TPH Thunder, for a year, and then I went to Omaha.
NZ: What’s the hockey culture in Kansas City like?
KF: It’s pretty small. It’s kind of hit or miss in the teams you play for, but if you get the right coach, it’s good.
NZ: How did playing for Syracuse help you develop?
KF: I would say just kind of learning the game. I played a couple different positions, so playing and learning each position was good for me and good for my development.
NZ: How did you decide you wanted to play college?
KF: It was kind of a thing where I was thinking about life after hockey and knowing that with a degree from West Point that the options are limitless. It’s always been a dream of mine to play college hockey and be a part of that, so I’m really glad I got to do that
NZ: Did you have exposure to college hockey growing up?
KF: Not as much as a lot of people but I did watch games on TV. But I didn’t really go to any games because there are no colleges close by that have good hockey.
NZ: What other schools did you talk to?
KF: I talked to RPI and Air Force a little bit, but Army was the only school that offered me.
NZ: What’s your best on-ice skill?
KF: Probably my shot. I like to shoot the puck.
NZ: What part of your game has improved the most over the past few years?
KF: Because I haven’t played forward for that long, probably just learning the position and getting better along the walls and the defensive zone as a forward.
NZ: What are you trying to improve the most?
KF: I’m just trying to get better offensively and using the ice more, not just skating in straight lines and being not easy to read.
NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?
KF: I would say probably just having to move away from home at such an early age. It was good, but obviously I missed my family. I feel like that was one of the hardest things, moving away from home at such an early age.
NZ: Was it tough to convince your family to let you move away?
KF: It wasn’t, because at the level I was playing at there wasn’t really anything here for me in Kansas City, so it was an easy decision to move away.
NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in life?
KF: I would probably say just having to switch positions the past couple of years was kind of hard for me because I played D for most of my life. Then having to switch to forward, which I really like playing forward and I think it’s something I’m good at and is going to help me in the long run, but I would say just learning the position and switching back and forth was kind of tough.
NZ: How did you switch positions?
KF: On my team in Omaha we had some injuries and stuff like that, so I was asked to. Even when I did play D, I was offensive, so the coaches got together and asked me if I would play forward and I did well there, so they just kept me there.
NZ: What advice did people give you to help you through the position change?
KF: Probably just keeping things simple and using my size and my shot to my advantage.
Photo credit: Hickling Images