Toronto Maple Leafs rookie forward Nicholas Robertson injured his knee during Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. There isn’t a timeline for his return from injury, but Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said he will miss four weeks after undergoing an MRI scan.
The #leafs got "good news" on Nick Robertson yesterday, according to head coach Sheldon Keefe. He'll miss about four weeks.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 18, 2021
Leafs Nick Roberston Injured
In the first period of the game, Nicholas Roberston went to get the puck along the boards near the Leafs’ bench. Senators forward Drake Batherson hit him and Robertson’s right leg went awkwardly into the boards. However, it’s not clear if it’s a right knee injury. Robertson left the game and didn’t return.
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) January 17, 2021
This was Robertson’s first regular-season NHL game. The 19-year-old played four out of five games in the play-in round of the 2020 postseason and scored his first NHL goal. Nicholas Robertson was drafted in the second round of the 2019 draft and the following season scored 55 goals and 86 points in 46 games with the Peterborough Petes in the OHL.
Cory Pronman of The Athletic writes that Robertson has an elite shot because of his combination of a hard release, quick hands, and ability to shoot while moving. Pronman also highlights his playmaking and competitiveness as assets in his game.
What This Means Going Forward
This is an unfortunate loss for the Leafs. They were looking to see what their young player could do in a full-season, but not a huge loss. Robertson was playing on their fourth line, so they should be able to make up for his loss. Robertson is a sniper, but Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and John Tavares have all scored over 30 goals at least once since 2018, so they should be fine for goals. They have scored 11 goals in their first three games of the season.
For the fourth-line, Alex Barbanov started as the fourth line left-winger for their first two games. With Robertson’s injury, that could mean Barbonov will have a more permanent position on that line.