The Toronto Maple Leafs should consider trading Nick Robertson while he still holds significant value.
Over the past four years, no Toronto Maple Leafs prospect has been as intriguing as Robertson. Despite his size (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) presenting a consistent challenge, his exceptional skills seemed poised to overcome this limitation.
As a former second-round draft pick, Robertson maintains one of the most impressive shots on the Leafs’ roster, but his potential is underutilized. Positioned on the third line alongside Max Domi and Calle Jarnkrok, the trio struggles to generate effective plays.
Before scoring in the Leafs last two games, Robertson had gone scoreless in his last 14 games, with his last goal dating back to November 24th against Chicago.
His limited ice time, averaging just over one shot per night, prevents him from leveraging his outstanding offensive abilities to Toronto’s advantage.
While Tyler Bertuzzi’s persistent presence in the top six may be attributed to his gritty style of play, one might argue that this attribute is better suited for a third-line role. Bertuzzi’s ability to agitate opponents, akin to Max Domi, could inject a different dynamic into the Leafs roster, leaving high-end skill to occupy more prominent roles.
Reassigning Robertson to a more suitable position, perhaps alongside Mitch Marner and John Tavares, could potentially elevate his production at a rate surpassing Bertuzzi’s. Nevertheless, Sheldon Keefe persists in maintaining Robertson on the third line, a decision that continues to be perplexing.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Look to Trade Robertson
Given the risk of Robertson growing frustrated with limited ice time or sustaining an unfortunate injury in his current role, the prudent move might be for the Leafs to trade him.
Throughout his career, injuries have plagued Robertson, making this season the first where he has remained healthy so far. While we hope for his continued well-being, history suggests that an injury could be imminent, and one more setback might spell the end of his NHL career.
Despite the Leafs impressive record, the team is not without its flaws. While boasting high-end skill and two of the league’s top 10 players, they still faces challenges. Robertson’s trade potential could be harnessed to address roster deficiencies.
A potential trade package involving Robertson, a high-end prospect, and a draft pick might secure a much-needed top-four defenseman. Last year, the Ottawa Senators acquired Jakob Chychrun with just three draft picks, suggesting that a trade proposal featuring Robertson could potentially yield a player of a similar caliber.
Observing Robertson’s talent languish on the third line is disheartening, and unless there is a commitment to promoting him, the Toronto Maple Leafs should seriously consider trading him to enhance the team’s overall roster.