#3. Put Nick Robertson in the Starting Line-Up
I know that the Leafs promised Alexander Barabanov a spot and that he’s a veteran to professional hockey, but Nick Robertson is a special player.
He’s undersized, but his skill-set is going to make him an offensive threat for years to come. The Leafs have a ton of firepower already, but in my opinion, you can never have too much. Just look at this goal he scored on the powerplay. How can you stop this guy from playing every night?
Within the last 20 years, I can’t remember a rookie who’s ever shot the puck like this. Obviously, Auston Matthews comes to mind but it’s typically his snap-shot that’s so powerful, not his slap-shot. Bryan McCabe always had a great slap-shot from the point, but it wasn’t as powerful as Robertson’s.
I’ve watched Robertson’s goal about 100 times now and can’t get over how fast that puck went from his stick to the back of the net. Even if the puck hit Aaron Dell, I think the force would have pushed his entire body back into the net for a goal anyways.
Robertson is going to have a long NHL career and there’s a million reasons why he should wait his turn to play, but it’s tough to keep a player of that skill-set out of the line-up every night. I know he’s not going to play 56 games based off the forward depth on this team, but I hope he can find a way to play around 30-40.