Weight: 160 pounds
Date of birth: September 11, 2001
Hometown: Arcadia, California
Position: Left Wing
OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: pre-season, November: B Prospect. Mid-term: 30th North America
Born in Arcadia California and now calls Northville Michigan home, Peterborough Petes’ little engine that could Nick Robertson is the younger brother of OHL sniper Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs. The younger Robertson is one of the youngest players available for the 2019 National Hockey League Draft, making the September 15, 2001 cut off date by just 4 days.
The biggest difference between the brothers that stands out most to hockey watchers is the size difference. While Nick stands at just 5’9”, Jason comes in at 6’2”. There is also an older brother, Michael, who when he played, stood at 6’. So, you’d think there is some room for physical growth, right?
Robertson played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Red Wings during the 2016-2017 season amassing 18 goals and 18 assists in 32 games as an Alternate Captain. At the end of his Minor Midget season, Robertson appeared in 4 games with the North York Rangers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, notching 3 assists in 4 contests.
Last season, Robertson broke onto the OHL scene with the Petes, appearing in 62 games and scoring 15 goals and 18 assists.
Robertson’s draft year began by representing Team USA at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and in 5 games with the Americans, Robertson scored 4 goals while adding an assist. He started off the preseason well but then just two games into the season, he suffered a wrist injury that caused him to miss the next month. He would re-injure the wrist in early November missing another 4 games.
Since Robertson’s return in November, he’s been nothing short of a consistent offensive producer, notching points in 20 of his 32 contests, going pointless in back-to-back games just once. He now has 44 points in 42 games and only Ryan Merkley, who the Petes acquired in a trade, has more points on the Petes.
Robertson is an extremely hard worker who plays with a “do anything to win” mentality. Maybe it’s because he was born 8 weeks premature and almost didn’t survive and came to the conclusion that he had to do his best to be the best he can be. I strongly recommend this article from the Peterborough Examiner.
Robertson is a very good skater with very good speed. He has excellent edgework and despite the size disadvantage is very strong on his skates. He has the ability to slow the game down or pick up the pace quickly because of a very quick first step. He’s able to slip into seams almost unnoticed. He skates with a wide stance which makes him stronger on his feet.
Robertson also possesses excellent vision. He can draw in defenders with his patience and sees opportunities and seams open up with good anticipation. But when he doesn’t see those seams, he will take the lane directly to the net.
It can be argued that Robertson has the best puck skills in his draft class. He handles the puck extremely well at top speed and can dish it at top speed. He can also fire it while at top speed and off his wrong foot. His shot is deceptive and is as NHL ready as any shooter in the draft class. His shot is right there with Arthur Kaliyev and his puck skills with Ryan Suzuki.
Defensively, the game is a work in progress for Robertson. He certainly has the skating ability to put himself in the right position. And he has the work ethic and the smarts. But he’s young, determined and has the coaching he needs. I don’t think it will be an issue going forward.