Robertson made a lot of good plays without the puck throughout this game. It was a common theme on all of his shifts that he stayed structured defensively and didn’t cheat for offense. That kind of play will earn him the trust of coaches, and that trust will elevate his usage over time.
I think Robertson has a chance to work his way into the 15-17 minute range over the next few games.
Keefe looks to utilize Robertson’s shot on the flank and not only does this open up more minutes for him, but it also means he might have a chance to stay in the line-up even when the team is healthy.
Right now, the Toronto Maple Leafs are without Muzzin, Kase, and Sandin, and that has opened up a spot for Robertson. If he produces points, and if he can be lethal with Spezza on the second PP unit, then Keefe has a more difficult decision to make concerning his forward lines.
Robertson’s stat line looked really good on Saturday. He scored a goal, played well defensively, and posted solid metrics with a 58% CF and 83% xG.
His speed is better than last year. He’s calmer than last year and makes better decisions, he’s making simple plays that extend possession and lead to offense. You can see the improvement in his game.
He’s still undersized but he shows better balance, which means he’s probably gotten stronger, and he’s certainly willing to engage physically.
These are all good signs for a very young player who has had some tough luck the last two years.
I finally got a good look at his game with some skilled players, and I definitely liked what I saw. I want to see more of him with Tavares and Nylander to see if some chemistry develops there.
I don’t think this is an audition as a trade asset. I don’t think it’s just because of injuries either. I think the team wants to see what we want to see; they want to see if he’s capable of helping the team this year.
I think the answer is yes.