Maple Leafs Regression Fears + 50 in 50 + 50 for Hyman + Robertson Playoffs

Mar 24, 2024; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) scores against Ottawa
Mar 24, 2024; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) scores against Ottawa / Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
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Nick Robertson

He's clearly an NHL player, and a good one.

He is one of the Leafs most efficient scorers and he's winning his minutes. He's hungry, he wants to play. That's awesome, I don't know why that bugs people - if he didn't feel that way he probably wouldn't have what it takes to become a pro.

The thing is, on a healthy Leafs team, one that isn't hurting for offense, he will sit so the coach can play Pontus Holmberg and Calle Jarnrkok. Those guys just give the coach more options, and they better fit the profile of a playoff player.

Guys like Robertson are at a disadvantage because NHL coaches are always playing for their jobs and that leads to assumptions about the kind of player you want in the lineup.

The Leafs aren't a particularly good defensive team, they have bad goaltending and a weak blue-line. Their best feature is their scoring, and so they're eventually going to need Robertson.

He won't be their first choice, but teams need more than 12 guys to grind out four rounds of playoff hockey, so eventually he'll get the call.

That shouldn't be controversial - it should be really hard for a rookie to break into the NHL on a Cup Contending team. The Leafs will probably find that with Jarnkrok, Reaves, Kampf, Dewar and Holmberg that they don't score enough. Robertson will eventually have a better career than all those guys.


But the fact is, one of the few edges the Leafs have over other teams is their depth at forward. Nick Robertson would be a regular on most, if not all, other NHL teams. His time is coming, but it's a pretty good thing for everyone involved if someone who is scoring at a first-line rate in the NHL is ready and waiting to come off the bench.