Lost in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ weeds somewhere is Nick Robertson. He’s all but forgotten. However, there are several reasons why Robertson has a chance to make the team this season. If fact, the only thing that might be holding him back is the fact that his injury history can be worrisome.
But, what if he has a healthy season? Why is there good reason to believe a healthy Robertson could have a solid season?
Reasons Why Robertson Has a Good Chance to Make the Team
Reason One: Robertson Has Some Scoring Ability
Robertson has already shown that he has the potential to score goals in the NHL. During the 2022-23 preseason, he led all Maple Leafs’ players with eight points. Of those points, he scored three goals and added five assists. Don’t forget that he has the offensive ability – including an amazing shot.
Reason Two: Last Preseason His Performance Was Impressive
Again, before he was injured, Robertson had a solid preseason and likely would have made the starting roster. He impressed both fans and the coaching staff with his play. He has an incredible shot and is a confident playmaker. Those skills caught the attention of head coach Sheldon Keefe, who praised Robertson’s performance as the best he had seen from him in a Blue & White jersey.
Reason Three: When Roberson’s Been Healthy, His Offensive Contributions Have Been Solid
Although he’s still young and (because of his injuries) relatively inexperienced, Robertson has shown an ability to produce offensively at the NHL level. In 15 2022-23 regular-season games, he put up five points (two goals and three assists). He’s proved that he can make an impact on the scoresheet.
Reason Four: Robertson Is Willing on the Defensive End
In addition to his scoring ability, Robertson has shown a willingness to play hard defensively. His problem can be that he plays bigger than his size and being diligent in digging out loose pucks. In one game against the Dallas Stars last season, he made a great defensive play that led to the game-winning goal in overtime.
Reason Five: Robertson Has Been Improving and Developing
No one can ever fault Robertson for his work ethic. He’s been working on his own (and with coaches) to improve all aspects of his game. That includes his shot selection and his on-ice positioning.
With his great shot, if he can learn to create better scoring opportunities he could start pumping in the points. When he wasn’t injured, his progress and development with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies were promising. He’s been a point-per-game player there.
Reason Six: Robertson Has a Positive Impact on the Team
Robertson’s skills and potential could vastly improve the team’s secondary scoring. That scoring would prove valuable for the team. For once, this season the team has brought in other scoring threats such as Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi. In addition, Matthew Knies looked solid in the postseason and he’ll have an entire season with the team. The team is capable of creating additional offensive support. And, Robertson could be among them.
Reason Seven: Robertson Is a Young Talent with Long-Term Potential
Robertson is just 21 years old (he’ll be turning 22 in September). He’s still a young talent with considerable future potential. Giving him a chance to play in the NHL could contribute to his long-term development and growth within the organization. That would be beneficial for everyone involved.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Robertson has the scoring ability. He has a solid work ethic. Should he have another strong preseason performance, there’s a compelling case why he should make the team’s opening night lineup.
Don’t be surprised if Robertson establishes himself as a regular part of the Maple Leafs’ roster this season.
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