It doesn’t take ground-breaking hockey analysis to say Nick Robertson is good at hockey.
The 2019 second-round pick (lol) took the OHL by storm this past season leading the Peterborough Petes in points with 86 and the entire league in goals with 55. To amplify things even further for the 18-year-old, Robertson’s goal scoring rate was historic sitting seventh all-time in goals per game for a single season at 1.196.
We’re all dying to see Robertson with a blue and white sweater for longer than training camp and the preseason. The question is when. When will Nick Robertson be a Toronto Maple Leaf?
Kyle Dubas on prospect Nick Robertson: Come training camp, we'll give him every opportunity to make the team.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 31, 2020
I’m sure this quote has created a lot buzz around the fanbase, including myself, but we do need to put things into perspective a little bit.
Robertson has a coin in the jar by playing on the left opposed to the right. With Mitch Marner, William Nylander/Zach Hyman and Kasperi Kapanen still very much in the fold, the conversation of, ‘Will Roberston make it’ would be a short one if he was a right winger. That’s not to say the left is wide-open.
The Leafs currently have Nylander/Hyman and Pierre Engvall as options on the left. Kyle Clifford is a pending UFA, but it seems as if there is mutual interest to return for at least another season so we’ll pencil him in as well.
Kyle Clifford wants another tour on the Leafs
There are two more names we’ve forgot about: Andreas Johnsson and Ilya Mikheyev.
Johnsson has been traded so many times in our heads that he’s pretty much gone already. The 25-year-old had a difficult season battling with both a leg and knee injury that ended his year prematurely. He was only able to put up 8 goals and 13 assists in 43 games down from the 20 goals and 23 assists he had in 73 games ahead of signing that contract extension.
Again, Johnsson seems to be the odd-man out as the player the Leafs will use to shore up their defence. But for now, he’s still on the team.
Mikheyev was the Leafs’ latest KHL ‘Price Is Right’ pickup earning Toronto fame and glory from telling reporters he liked soup and Friends on Netflix. He had a good run bringing more energy to the Leafs top-nine putting up 23 points in 39 games before the scary incident against the Devils that ended his season.
There hasn’t been any talk on a Mikheyev extension, who is a pending RFA, but he’ll likely get a deal. Found money in player production is hard to come by (so they say).
Robertson is known for his drive and work-ethic as much as his goal scoring. He’ll work and fight to stay with the Leafs as long as he can and try to steal a job at training camp. However, the issue is room.
The Leafs could take a note from the Montreal Canadiens in how they handled Nick Suzuki and start Robertson out on fourth line and see if he can work his way up.
There are a lot of factors out of Robertson’s control, especially with the Leafs possibly signing another forward in Alexander Barbanov who will likely get a spot. It’s a weighted question, and one that is tough to speculate on.
What do you think are the odds?
What are the odds of Nick Robertson making the Leafs out of camp?
There’s some new information regarding the Leafs and NHL-bound forward Alexander Barabanov.
Maple Leafs linked to KHL free agent Alexander Barabanov - Pension Plan Puppets
The KHL free agent rush is on.
No ice? No problem.— Christina Marleau (@c_marleau) March 31, 2020
At least someone here knows the house rules 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/d1BW25v8dI