With Calle Jarnkrok on the shelf, it’s time for Nick Robertson to take a page out of Bobby McMann’s playbook

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 month ago
15 games ago, Bobby McMann had two goals in 36 career NHL games.
Since February 13th, a night the 27-year-old exploded for a hat-trick to propel the shorthanded Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory at Scotiabank Arena against the St. Louis Blues, he’s potted eight goals.
In the span of a month, the Alberta native has completely changed the trajectory of his season. On top of that, just for good measure, the Leafs rewarded the undrafted forward on Wednesday with a two-year contract extension.
He earned it.
Talk about seizing the moment.
For the record, McMann was supposed to be a healthy scratch that night against St. Louis but was thrust into action after John Tavares and Mitch Marner bowed out due to illness.
With all that in mind, it’s time for Nick Robertson to follow McMann’s lead.
Opportunity is about to knock. That’s because Calle Jarnkrok, who left Thursday night’s game in Philadelphia after smashing shoulder first into the boards, is expected to miss some time with a suspected upper body injury.
Just like that, Robertson, who voiced his displeasure over his lack of playing time earlier in the week, should get a chance to find his way back into the good graces of his coaching staff very soon.
The 22-year-old hasn’t played since February 29th against Arizona —a span of six games. In fact, just prior to the NHL trade deadline, he was sent down to the American Hockey League, but didn’t end up suiting up in a game for the Marlies.
On Monday, the Maple Leafs recalled the frustrated forward.
“I understand it, but I’m not going to sit here and say I’m happy. I want to play,” said Robertson.
Ask and you shall receive.
While Sheldon Keefe was understandably mum on the severity of Jarnkrok’s injury, there’s no question that Robertson will likely get a look at some point and time over the next few games.
Plain and simple: When that time comes, he needs to do something with it. And again, the 2019 second rounder can use Bobby McMann as inspiration for what can happen if you perform and execute on a consistent basis.
In 41 outings with the Maple Leafs so far this season, Robertson has notched a career-high eight goals and 19 points.

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