The Toronto Maple Leafs have made their first selection in the 2019 NHL entry draft with OHL stand out, undersized (5’9″, 161 lbs), 17-year-old winger Nicholas Robertson. Say what you will, but with their current center depth, the Leafs will need cheap playmaking wingers.
Robertson has played two seasons in the OHL with the Peterborough Petes, improving in his second season. The leftwinger splits points between goals and assists, tallying 15 goals and 18 assists in 2017-18 and 27 goals and 28 assists in 2018-19.
The scouting network from EliteProspects have ranked him the following:
- 25th – the Athletic
- 48th – Hockeyprospects.com
- 35th – Future Considerations
- 34th – ISS Hockey
- 40th – McKeen’s Hockey
- 17th (NA skaters) – NHL Central Scouting
- 28th – Elite Prospects
- 42nd – Bob McKenzie/TSN
Scouting reports suggest that speed and skill counterbalance his size, making him an effective forechecker and playmaker. The California native has been described as a “anything to win” player who is willing to put his head down and work to create for his team. Again, his skating is described as elite and his biggest asset, eliminating the size difference between him and his opposition.
I’m not surprised that Dubas and his scouts opted for an undersized winger, as they often do, but I assumed defensemen would be prioritized. The organizational depth chart suggests that wingers and goalies are fine for the foreseeable future, and indicate that the Leafs should be looking for some size on the back end and also some center depth, too.
Again, he is just 17-years-old so it will be a good while until we see him in the NHL, but if matured correctly and walked through the Maple Leafs tiered system including Newfoundland and the Marlies, this player could see a future in Toronto, just don’t expect him here any time soon.