Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving and head coach Sheldon Keefe
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Toronto Maple Leafs Bench Top Prospect - GM Brad Treliving working on a Major Trade Involving Forward Nick Robertson?

Published January 5, 2024 at 6:50 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have not exactly lived up to expectations this year. However, the team has had a number of good stories including Nick Robertson, who has finally gotten a consistent look at the NHL level. However, it now seems that his time in Toronto may be coming to an end.

Leafs Scratch Robertson - Could He Be Part Of An Upcoming Trade?

Robertson was adamant earlier this year that he would request a trade if the Leafs did not give him a chance at the NHL level. Since then, he has gotten his chance and yet it seems that the team is still reluctant to play him despite his strong performance so far. Just this morning, Robertson was listed as an extra during Leafs practice, indicating that he likely will not be playing in the next team game. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has already confirmed this, but he says the reason why he is being scratched is so that the team can give Pontus Holmberg more looks.

Sheldon Keefe on Nick Robertson remaining a scratch for the second consecutive game in San Jose: "After 24-25 games, we have a pretty good sense of where he is at We want to give Holmberg more of an opportunity."

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Fans Speculate Why Robertson Is A Healthy Scratch

This seems like it could just be a cover story as Robertson has clearly been the better player this season. Holmberg has just one assist in 10 games this year while averaging under 9 minutes of ice time per game. Clearly, Keefe does not trust him to play a bigger role. Robertson on the other hand, has 11 points in 24 games despite getting just 10:30 of ice time per game.

Another thing fans have pointed out is that Robertson is a California native. Despite this, he has continued to be a scratch as the team plays through their annual California road trip.

Nick Robertson: *is from California*

Also Nick Robertson: *only gets 1/3 games in California*

None of this seems to be adding up. Robertson's play this season has been fine at worst and down right good most of the time. His advanced stats and possession metrics back this up.

So why are the Leafs really scratching Robertson? Only time will tell, but it seems as though the team may use him as a trade piece at some point this season. Notably, the team has been linked to Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro and Sharks GM Mike Grier has made a point of targeting young forwards who can be part of the future for the Sharks in trades so far. At the very least, Keefe's story for the reason he's benching Robertson does not seem to make any sense.

As seen on Leafs to scratch top prospect; is he being protected for a trade?
January 5   |   875 answers
Toronto Maple Leafs Bench Top Prospect - GM Brad Treliving working on a Major Trade Involving Forward Nick Robertson?

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