After a disappointing 2017-18 season where wins were few and far between, the Cleveland Monsters started the 2018-19 season winning three games in a row. Helping lead the way was the rookie out of Princeton University, Eric Robinson. During opening weekend, Robinson racked up three goals and two assists for five points in three games.
In his first professional game on October 5th, Robinson scored his first professional goal and point. This goal set the tone for the Monsters and helped propel them to a 4-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs.
For Robinson, it was great to get the proverbial monkey off his back.
“It’s a great feeling. (I’m) relieved to get it out of the way.” – Eric Robinson
Robinson brings a lot of positive play to the ice. However, the two things he thinks will help take the Monsters to the next level are speed and reliability.
“I think speed is one of my bigger assets. So, if I can use that as much as possible and be reliable, I think I can help the team” – Eric Robinson
He’s not the only one who believes Robinson can help the Monsters bring a winning season back to Cleveland.
“He’s quietly putting together a game. It’s only two games but I’ve liked his game from day one” – Head Coach John Madden
According to Head Coach John Madden, Robinson is one of the Monsters “top three 200-foot players”. This is no shock as Robinson knows how to use the entirety of the ice to his advantage. In the defensive zone, Robinson is unafraid to step in front of a puck to stop a scoring attempt from happening. The neutral zone, in my opinion, is where he shines the brightest. Once Robinson enters the neutral zone, you can see him going through all the possible plays which could be made from that moment on. He looks for lanes in the process of opening, a teammate to set up for a goal, and if the netminder is out of place or not. Robinson’s thought process paired with skill is what allows him to excel in the offensive zone. He rarely enters the offensive zone unprepared. Most importantly, Robinson plays a responsible hockey game. Every move is calculated, and no scenario is left unturned. If you watch him closely, you can see the wheels turning inside his head.
“When you put that all together you got a lot of things going for ya” – Head Coach John Madden
Even the veterans on the team are impressed with the skillset Robinson brings to the table. Zac Dalpe and Robinson have spent a lot of time together during the beginning of the season. He’s been able to see what Robinson brings to the table first hand.
“He just does the little things right off the ice and on the ice. He’s a big body. Shoots the puck well. He’s smart. He reads the play. He’s a pro. Coming from college it’s something you want to see.” – Zac Dalpe (Cleveland Monsters Alternate Captain)
Dalpe has played in almost 500 professional games. He’s seen both the good and the bad. When Dalpe says someone is good, it shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt.
Robinson is the real deal. His hard work, dedication, and skill will help the Monsters out this season.
When veterans know they can depend on the young guys to step up, that’s when the magic happens.