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NICK ROBERTSON FOLLOWING IN JAROME IGINLA'S FOOTSTEPS

The Toronto Maple Leafs have thrown everything they could throw at 18-year-old Nick Robertson as a way of testing his ability to handle the rigors of NHL life.

Many had questioned the actual readiness of the OHL scoring phenom, primarily due to his diminutive size, but thus far, not only did Robertson have a sensational training camp, but he seemed to excel during exhibition play against the Montreal Canadiens as well.

The hard work and determination of the young winger as apparently paid off as Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has confirmed that Robertson will be in the lineup on Sunday when the Buds begin their qualifying round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This will mark the first time since Jarome Iginla in 1996 that an 18-year-old rookie will debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Though there's no guarantee that Robertson will have anywhere near the same level of success that Iginla enjoyed over a very impressive career, the fact that the youngster hasn't faltered against NHL competition is encouraging.

“We’re anxious to see how he can handle it,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I believe he is prepared and ready for it. That’s why we are confident in putting him in.”

Robertson is expected to resume his role on the third line with Alex Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen.


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MIKE ARMENTI
AUGUST 1, 2020  (20H13)
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