A brace from Marvin Sordell and a well taken finish from Chris Eagles looked to have given Wanderers the win, but two goals inside the final 25 minutes for the hosts confirmed the draw.
The two sides will meet again in just over two weeks time at the Greenhous Meadow in the first round of the Capital One Cup.
Wanderers boss Freedman named a strong line-up for the trip to Shropshire with defender David Wheater the notable inclusion, the former England U21 international making his first pre-season start.
Shrewsbury Town boss Graham Turner also fielded a number of important players including former Welsh international Paul Parry and on loan frontman Akwasi Asante.
The game started brightly with both sides showing their intentions to attack quickly. The Whites created chance number one of the afternoon when striker Sordell directed a close range header over the bar following good work from Chris Eagles on the right hand side.
The Shrews followed on with three uninterrupted attacks inside a five minute spell, resulting in Adam Bogdan having to work to do in the Wanderers goal.
The best of those chances fell to number nine Asante, on loan from Wanderers’ Championship rivals Birmingham City. Cutting inside from the left hand side, the teenager hit a fierce drive goal bound, stinging the palms of Bolton’s Hungarian international.
In the 18th minute, Sordell repeated his feat against Rotherham United with the game’s opening goal to hand Bolton the lead.
Sordell had colleague Robert Hall to thank, after the winger’s weaving run worked possession inside the Shrewsbury penalty area, with Wanderers’ number 19 finishing the job with a strong right footed finish.
Hall looked lively for the Whites on the wing, and his ability to glide past the Town full backs were causing concern for home manager Turner.
The Whites’ new number 11 had his first attempt midway through the first half, after a swift counter attack from the visitors following a Shrewsbury corner.
With the ball at his feet, the West Ham United youth team graduate curled an ambitious strike goal bound, narrowly missing the target.
But Shrewsbury were at no means out of the game, and just after the half hour mark, the League One outfit equalised.
Tireless wide man Jon Taylor, celebrating his 21st birthday, delivered an inviting cross from the right hand side into the penalty area for Marsden to prod home.
The game was level for only three minutes as Wanderers regained their lead courtesy of last season’s top marksman Eagles.
Linking up well with Darren Pratley, Eagles took an exquisite first touch to take the ball away from defender David Winfield and rounded the move off with a sublime finish past former Yeovil stopper Chris Weale.
The Whites extended their lead further in the 43rd minute as Sordell once again demonstrated the power of his right foot to the crowd at Greenhous Meadow with a fierce strike from 25-yards out, leaving Weale again with no chance.
Wanderers began the second half how they finished the first, on the front foot, with Eagles coming close to a fourth early on but the goalkeeper held on well.
At the other end, Bogdan made an important block preventing Marsden from grabbing a brace after the ball kindly dropped at the striker’s feet directly in front of goal.
Eagles and Sordell were both firing on all cylinders at the Greenhous Meadow, with the pair playing the ball neatly through the Shrews defence, the latter directing a shot inches wide of the far post.
Town pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion with 25 minutes remaining, as former Cardiff City and Preston North End man Parry hit a stunning left footed volley past a helpless Bogdan. It turned out to be the winger’s final contribution before being substituted for Ryan Woods.
Manager Freedman made his first alterations with 15 minutes to go, Matt Mills, Tim Ream and Craig Davies coming on in place of Sordell, Wheater and Keith Andrews.
Town’s fight back was complete three minutes later, as they levelled matters after Zat Knight was robbed of possession inside his own half by Asante, with the striker calmly placing the ball beyond Bogdan.
The final whistle followed soon after, with Wanderers heading north on Tuesday night with a trip to Carlisle United.
Shrews: Weale, Goldson, Jacobson, Summerfield, Mkwandawire, Mardsen, McAllister, Asante (McQuaid 80), Parry (Woods 65), Taylor (Wildig 60)
BWFC: Bogdan, Baptiste, Knight, Wheater (Mills 75), Tierney, Andrews (Ream 75), Kamara, Pratley (Lester 83), Hall, Eagles, Sordell (Davies 75). Subs: Lonergan, Mears, Gregus, Bolger, Odelusi.
Attendance – 1,422 (Bolton fans 411)