Top Leafs Prospect Could Be On His Way Out of Toronto

Julien Trekker
October 19, 2023  (9:57)

Nick Robertson's career with the Leafs hasn't started as well as he hoped. A string of injuries has kept him off the team's roster, and it seems that other prospects like Matthew Knies and Fraser Minten have surpassed him in the depth chart. Consequently, Robertson's chances of making it to the Leafs appear quite limited.

NHL Insider Hints at Robertson's Trade Request


NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, in his "32 Thoughts" segment today, revealed that Robertson isn't happy being in the AHL and may soon request a trade if he doesn't receive a call-up. He also pointed out that the Leafs would have preferred to have him as their 13th forward, but their current cap situation prevents them from accommodating an extra forward.
"Five points in two games as Nick Robertson starts his AHL season. It wasn't easy for him to go back to the Marlies, but all you can do is produce and he's started right. Apparently, it was pointed out to him that the Maple Leafs carry the minimum 12 forwards, so there will be opportunity for him if something happens. You can also see a situation where if this goes too long, he might ask for a fresh start."

Slipping Down the Depth Chart


Robertson's best opportunity for a call-up might arise in November when the Leafs face a significant decision regarding Fraser Minten. Minten, who surprised everyone by making the team straight out of training camp at the age of 19, is ineligible to play in the AHL this season. To maintain his entry-level contract for another year, the team may be compelled to send him back to junior hockey in the WHL.
To preserve Minten's contract status, he cannot participate in more than nine games this season, with the Leafs' ninth game falling on Halloween night.
The exact value of Robertson in the trade market remains uncertain, but the Leafs could benefit from acquiring a defensive prospect, as their organization lacks depth in that position. Perhaps they can secure a prospect who, like Robertson, is facing a similar situation with their current club.