Leafs give Nick Robertson shot in team's top-six forward group

Oct 3 2022, 3:16 pm

For many Toronto Maple Leafs fans, the preseason just isn’t all that exciting, with the allure of regular season hockey just nine days away.

But for 21-year-old forward Nick Robertson? Well, it might just be time for him to show he belongs.

At today’s morning skate ahead of tonight’s preseason matchup against Montreal, Robertson was given the chance by head coach Sheldon Keefe to skate on the team’s second line, alongside Alex Kerfoot and William Nylander.

Sure, Robertson’s place in the lineup might be partially due to Leafs captain John Tavares dealing with a week-to-week oblique injury.

But it’s also a chance for Robertson to impress and form some chemistry with a decent chunk of ice time, should he be needed in that spot to begin the year.

In 16 games for the Maple Leafs in his career, Robertson has just a lone goal and an assist.

But he’s averaged just under 10 minutes of ice time a contest in his brief NHL stint, most of which has been in the Leafs’ bottom six.

And while it might not be exactly who he needs to impress to earn a roster spot, Robertson’s found himself a fan in star Leafs forward Auston Matthews.

“I can’t really teach him anything because I think he shoots it harder than anyone on the team,” Matthews told reporters on Monday.

Here’s what the full Leafs lines look like for today, via Sports Illustrated‘s David Alter:


  • Michael Bunting- Auston Matthews- Mitch Marner
  • Nick Robertson-Alex Kerfoot- William Nylander
  • Zach Aston-Reese- Pontus Holmberg- Nicholas Aube-Kubel
  • Alex Steeves-Adam Gaudette- Denis Malgin
  • Extra: Nick Abruzzese


  • Morgan Rielly- TJ Brodie
  • Mark Giordano- Justin Holl
  • Filip Kral- Victor Mete
  • Matteo Pietroniro- William Villeneuve


  • Matt Murray (starter)
  • Ilya Samsonov

Group two forwards:

  • Calle Jarnkrok- David Kampf- Pierre Engvall
  • Kyle Clifford- Logan Shaw- Wayne Simmonds
  • Bobby McMann-Semyon Der-Arguchintsev – Joey Anderson
  • Joseph Blandisi- Pavel Gogolev- Max Ellis

Group two defencemen:

  • Jake Muzzin- Rasmus Sandin
  • Marshall Rifai- Mac Hollowell
  • Matt Hellickson- Noel Hoefenmayer
  • Mikko Kokkonen- Joe Miller

Group two goalies:

  • Erik Kallgren
  • Dylan Ferguson

Toronto and Montreal are facing off tonight at the Bell Centre, with the game being broadcast on Sportsnet One (in the Leafs’ broadcast region) and TSN2 and RDS (in the Canadiens’ region).

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

+ Offside
+ Hockey
+ Maple Leafs