Maple Leafs Rumors: Forward Named Top Under The Radar Trade Candidate

He hasn’t been in the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup very often of late, but when he has, it’s been tough not to notice Nick Robertson. Now, according to NHL insider Chris Johnson, it might be that other teams are starting to take notice as well. Writing in The Athletic, Johnson has listed the young Leafs forward as one of his top “under the radar” candidates to move before the trade deadline.

Johnson says the Leafs, if they’re looking to add a piece that fills a more immediate need, might not not have much choice but to seriously consider moving Robertson, due to a lack of options. As he noted on TSN 1050:

They have so little in the cupboard, he’s one of the pieces they really have to look at.

He’s only playing (10) minutes a game pretty much, he’s been scratched in seven of the last 10 games and yet he's still scoring at a 20-goal pace this year based on pretty limited minutes not a lot of power play time. I know there are some deficiencies in his game but, I think if there’s another team out there that values him and thinks, 'we can plug them into our top six and give him a spot where he can use that shot on the power play', maybe they can unlock something in him.

Johnson notes that Robertson has never really had a true top-six opportunity in Toronto and perhaps a move to a better situation would be best for him as well as the team moving forward. “He’s not really a traditional bottom-six guy with his skill set.”

But in all honesty, probably the biggest issue that’s held the 5'9" forward back over the last four years is an inordinate amount of injuries. Robertson has been out with a laundry list of issues, including a broken leg, a concussion, a shoulder separation, and groin and hip injuries.

The former second-rounder in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft is still just 22 years of age, and he’ll be a restricted free agent after the season. This year he’s sitting on seven goals and six assists for 13 points in 27 games with a +2 rating, all in just over 10 minutes of ice time a night.