Nick Robertson might not be ready to be a full-time NHLer with the Toronto Maple Leafs but it won’t be long before he is.
There are many lessons young hockey players have to learn before they can to achieve their dream of becoming an NHL player and the Toronto Maple Leafs are making sure Nick Robertson is following the right path.
Through no fault of his own, Robertson would be in a different position if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many young prospects, development time was taken away from Robertson and we know he has taken big steps forward on his own in order to progress forward.
Going into training camp there were some questions as to whether this would be the time when the 20-year-old would stake his claim to a roster spot. We found out this week that this was not the case and it shouldn’t be seen as a negative at this point.
The Leafs made it a point to add veterans in free agency in an attempt to find the right mix for their top-six forward group. This meant that Robertson’s path to the NHL was going to be tough unless he went above and beyond the expectations set for him.
Toronto made the California native one of their many cuts to their training camp roster as the Marlies prepare to open their season. He will now be in a position to earn a big-time role in the AHL with plenty of opportunities to get more reps against professional quality players.
When would be the right time to promote Nick Robertson to the Toronto Maple Leafs?
You can bet Robertson will be keeping a close eye on what is happening down the road at Scotiabank Arena. There are situations where the prospect can make his way back to the club but it should be in the right situation.
The team made him their first pick in the 2019 NHL Draft in the second round and believe he was a first-round calibre player. So it definitely makes more sense to bring him up when he is ready to play higher up in the lineup as a top-six forward.
It might not even be this season but as we have seen with this team, they are going to need their younger players on entry-level deals to make an impact. This is the exact role they will need Robertson to fill at some point and his first chance could come in the event of an injury since he can be moved up and down without having to clear waivers.
What are your thoughts on Robertson going down to the AHL? Do you think he will be the Leafs’ first call-up this season? Let us know in the comments below.