Dynamic offensive forward Jason Robertson is headed from Kingston of the OHL to the Stars.
Like 3rd overall pick Miro Heiskanen, Robinson is still only 17 years old. The 6’2, 194 pound American left winger recorded 81 points in 68 games, but 43 of those points were goals. The kid is a bona fide goal scorer. His playmaking ability was on display during the playoffs too, assisting on 13 goals (and scoring 5) in 11 games.
Robertson has a prototypical power forward body, and mostly good reports about his future ability to use it. He doesn’t play much defense. McKeen’s Hockey calls him “not really a two-way player, seemingly uninterested in playing in his own zone” and says that he “has no physical game whatsoever. Robertson has decent size to play physically, but does not have the aggressive style to use it. He did not throw any checks or not bother to engage in any physical play in any of my viewings.”
What happens from time to time is that we tend to focus on the negative of a player and miss an otherwise highly-skilled athlete. Offensively this is a player who belongs at the top of the draft , but the warts knocked him down a lot.
Robertson has a very good shot and high levels of creativity. He also carried the Frontenacs on his shoulders as a 17 year old, factoring in on nearly half of the goals they scored. I’ve seen descriptions of his play that note that he did literally everything for Kingston offensively including shifts where he retrieved his own puck defensively, carried it up the ice, dumped it into the offensive zone, and retrieved his own dump. With a little help there’s no telling how much offense he could have produced.
Robertson is a statistical darling. CanucksArmy, the blog with the pipeline to filling the Florida Panthers front office with executives, has an extensive profile on him . Their models project him to have a 76% chance of NHL success and be about a 57 point player. The most similar player profiles that came up for him based on his production were Brendan Shanahan, Rick Nash, Bryan Little, and Tyler Toffoli. These are encouraging names.
The Stars will have to wait a little while on Robertson if they want to get the most out of him. His high end offensive upside is wonderful, but the other aspects of his game have to round into form or he won't get out of the AHL. Robertson has to work on his effort in his defensive end, but most importantly he has to really work on his skating to maximize his potential NHL impact. You would like him to be more physical too, but the other two are way more important for his future.
Second round picks aren’t going to be perfect, but Robertson is a pretty salty pick regardless. The Stars needed to inject some high upside into the system. A player with the offensive upside of Robertson is a perfect addition.
If you want to get excited drop his name into a YouTube search or just head to the 50 second mark of this video. Hands all day.
You can follow Josh Lile on Twitter at @JoshL1220.