Nicholas Robertson will not be taking part in the 2020 World Junior Championship. His participation was up in the air heading into the annual tournament due to when the NHL planned on starting their season.
Training camps for NHL teams will begin on January 3rd, and the NHL will begin on January 13th. Because of training camp starting while the WJC will still be going on, the Toronto Maple Leafs decided to keep Robertson off of Team USA, so he’ll be available to them at training camp.
Robertson During 2019-20 Season
The 2019-20 season was a very productive one for the young Leafs prospect. He scored 55 goals and 31 assists for 86 points in 46 games for the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
His 55 goals put him in first place in the OHL in that category. The outburst of points makes the Leafs picking him with the 52nd pick of the 2019 NHL Draft look like a steal.
Last season, Robertson was treated to an unexpected opportunity when he was selected to join the Maple Leafs roster for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. He had one goal in four games for the Leafs during their round-robin series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
During last year’s WJC, Robertson had two goals and three assists for five points in five games. He would have been looking for a much bigger role on this year’s Team USA, but can not miss his chance to land a permanent spot on the Leafs 2020-21 roster.
What’s Next For Robertson?
After the season he had last year with the Petes in the OHL, the Leafs will be hoping that Nicholas Robertson’s play will transition well over to the NHL. He could see plenty of playing time on the team’s third line with players such as Joe Thornton, Alexander Kerfoot, or Wayne Simmonds.
During his brief time with Toronto in the playoffs, he seemed to mesh well with Jason Spezza. The two of them could also see some playing time together this season.
What a great opportunity Robertson has waiting for him. Not only will he be on the same team as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, but he will also have a chance to learn from NHL veterans Thornton and Spezza.
He has all the tools become a very important part of Toronto’s future and we could see him playing in the team’s top six as early as this season depending on injuries.
What Robertson Brings To The Leafs
Robertson’s hockey IQ is very high and he reads the ice very well. He has wonderful puck control and can be patient while waiting for a teammate to get open. His skating is very good with plenty of speed and agility to go with it.
The Leafs will have a fast, smooth skater with great scoring ability and good puck control for years to come. Having a player like that who can also act like a sponge and absorb the wisdom and knowledge from the veterans on this team is a bonus.
Robertson will also benefit from having Sheldon Keefe has his head coach. Keefe is used to coaching younger players and helping them develop into NHL players. Keefe coached the Toronto Marlies of the AHL from 2015 – 2019. During his 199 games as the coach for the Leafs AHL team, Keefe coached current Leafs such as Zach Hyman, William Nylander, and Travis Dermott.
Final Thoughts On Robertson
I am looking forward to seeing what Robertson brings to the Leafs this season. I think he will fit right in on the third line, but would love to see him excel and prove to everyone that he can be a top-six forward in the NHL. Team USA’s loss is the Maple Leafs’ gain.
My prediction for Robertson this season is 14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points in 50 games.