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2017 Draft Prospect Profile: Jason Robertson has the hands, but what about the legs?

A late first-to-second round pick whose skating has held him back.

CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Jason Robertson

Position: LW
Current Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Date of Birth: July 22, 1999
Hometown: Northville, Mich.
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 194 lbs.
Shoots: Left

How important is skating in professional hockey? Should be up there, right? How much can you work on that and improve? That’s what fans of whoever takes Jason Robertson will be asking on Draft Day.

Here’s the book on Robertson: Strong goal-scoring winger with a solid defensive game whose skating has turned scouts off. Robertson, the No. 14 ranked North American skater by Central Scouting and between 25-31 in three others, improved markedly throughout his OHL career and led Kingston handily in scoring (42-39-81 in 68 games) as a 17-year-old. Few improved in the rankings more than Robertson, who also models his play after Jaromir Jagr and future Blue Jacket Ilya Kovalchuk.

Anybody who carries a major junior team deserves a look, especially someone with an acclaimed hockey IQ and strong puck skills. Roberts plays a physical game and backchecks well…but the skating is a major issue. Decent speed but a bad first step has sunk him in the rankings, some believe, placing him late in the first round or in the second. He saw significant time on special teams and isn’t afraid to get in close or in the corners.

With a late birthday and a accomplished pedigree at an elite level, Robertson has a lot to offer. He wasn’t in Mike’s first round though he’s projected as a top-six winger, but he’ll go as far as his legs will take him…literally.

Career Stats

Jason Robertson Career Stats

Season Team League GP G A TP PIM
Season Team League GP G A TP PIM
2008-2009 California Brick Invitational 5 3 3 6 0
2012-2013 Little Caesars Bantam Minor AAA HPMBHL 20 16 7 23 6
2013-2014 Detroit Kings 15U AAA Midget 51 40 47 87 6
2014-2015 Don Mills Flyers Minor Mdgt AAA GTMMHL 62 28 33 61 14
Don Mills Flyers Minor Mdgt AAA OHL Cup 7 2 3 5 2
2015-2016 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 54 18 14 32 6
2016-2017 Kingston Frontenacs OHL 68 42 39 81 29
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Scouting Reports

An opportunistic scoring winger…he reads the game and adapts well but also has games where he becomes too focused on the puck and not the play around him…has deficiencies in his skating that will need correcting moving forward…has limited levels of speed and agility in his stride although he is improving… goes to the dirty areas of the ice, and works very well along the boards, rarely losing puck battles …willing and able to play physical…good protection, using his size and his back to shield the puck…does everything he can to get to the soft spots and call for a pass… loves to fire the puck and has a strong shot with good accuracy…dangerous in close…defensively his head is on a swivel on the backcheck and he tries to see where his check is and where he needs to get to in order to lend a hand…has the potential to become a goal scorer at the pro level but has some work to do first. - Future Considerations

Big left winger with size, speed, shot,and on-ice intelligence. One of his team's leaders. There are thoughts that his game is hampered by his lacking a top centre to play off of, he still manages to use his quick wrist shot to score on his own, and he is able to create chances for teammates through his stellar work in the attack zone. Is a powerful skater with good drive balance and acceleration. He has a terrific release and drives into the slot area, protecting the puck before he shoots or passes it. Very good board player and defensively responsible. - Bill Placzek

While players can work to improve their skating, one thing that is a lot harder to enhance is hockey IQ – and that is something Robertson certainly doesn’t lack. He is a smart player that is able to use his instincts to put himself in a position to create scoring chances. While he plays with a shoot-first mentality, Robertson doesn’t just shoot from anywhere – he puts himself in a position to be successful. With a little work on his shot over the summer, I would expect he could improve on his shooting percentage that was just a little above league average. - Tom Hunter, Bloggers Tribune

Robertson is a big bodied winger who uses his size to his advantage but could play a more physical game. His skating is a work in progress. He lacks a separation gear and quick first steps, but is okay once he gets to his top speed. He possesses good hockey IQ with an excellent work ethic.

Robertson plays with a shoot first mentality with his hard, heavy and accurate shot with a deceptive release. He has good puck skills and uses his body to protect the puck extremely well. He’s willing, and capable of taking it directly to the net. He uses his hockey sense to elude checking and find himself in quality scoring positions, allowing his teammates to find him. - Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers