Nicholas Robertson was drafted 53rd overall in the second round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. To learn more about the Maple Leafs prospect, I interviewed hockey scout Sam Stern. You can follow him @SternScouting. My questions will be prefaced with “JR” and Sam’s responses will be prefaced with “SS”.
JR: Now Sam, a lot of mock drafts had predicted that Nicholas Robertson would be selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL draft. Why do you think he fell down to the second round where the Maple Leafs selected him with the 53rd overall pick?
SS: Robertson likely fell due in part to being an undersized forward whose straight-line speed isn’t exactly high-end. He’s a fine skater, who stops and starts very well and is shifty from side to side, but it takes a little too long for him to get to top speed.
JR: What would you say is Robertson’s best attribute?
SS: His best attribute is, undoubtedly, his shooting ability. Robertson’s release is absolutely deadly. He possesses a rare ability to get power on his shot without having to pull the puck back towards his body. He hides his release well and can pick corners from any area of the ice.
JR: What do the Maple Leafs see in a player like Robertson?
SS: They see an undersized player who has been underrated by other teams. Not only do I believe that he has true 30-goal upside, but Robertson’s passing ability is something that I feel has slipped through the cracks. He’s a creative passer who finds ways to put his linemates in position to shoot from dangerous areas.
JR: In what way do you think we’ll see Robertson help the Maple Leafs in the future?
SS: Robertson is the type of player who would help any franchise in that he’s a goal-scorer, but to this point, hasn’t had to rely on others to create opportunities for him. He’s a player that likes to make others around him better.
JR: What did you think of Robertson’s play during the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase (WJSS)?
SS: Robertson had a very successful showing at the WJSS and should have cemented himself as a top-six option for Team USA this winter at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Robertson showed that not only could he keep up with the best Americans on that team, but he could also help drive play and be just as much of a passing threat as he is a scoring threat.
JR: If you had to compare Robertson to a current NHL player, who would you choose?
SS: I’m going to qualify this comparison by saying that there’s never a perfect fit and often times these comparisons are total reaches. At his ultimate ceiling, I think Robertson could be a poor man’s Brayden Point in that he’s undersized, can play center and has a wonderful release.
JR: Sam, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Much appreciated.
SS: No problem and my pleasure.
Although we won’t be seeing Robertson play for the Maple Leafs anytime soon, it will be interesting to see how he progresses in his development.
Thank you for reading!
Jeremy Ridgewell is a Toronto Maple Leafs contributor at Overtime Heroics. Follow him @Jermz13.
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