NHL Prospect Profile: Matthew Robertson
– Matthew Robertson –
Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) | Left Defence | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | March 9, 2001 | 6-foot-3, 201-pounds
Matthew Robertson is an uber-talented, two-way defenceman who has no true flaws to his game. He’s shown elite abilities to play a responsible, yet dynamic game at both ends of the rink, as well as on the penalty kill and power play. Robertson racked up seven goals and 24 points in 67 games with the Oil Kings in ’17-18. Those marks ranked first and second respectively among U17 defenders in the WHL.
Robertson has wowed scouts with his combination of smooth skating and puck-moving abilities. His play has earned him plenty of international experience with Canada, including both the U17 and U18 tournaments in 2017-18, as well as the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this past August, where he was one of the team’s most relied upon defencemen.
- Two-Way Play
- Sense and Vision
Matthew Robertson is a smooth skater with great lower-body strength. He is tough to knock off the puck and can reach impressive top speeds for a defender of his size. He utilizes his skating ability as as yet another option in breaking the puck out of his end. Robertson can safely make a long pass, chip, or rush the puck through the neutral zone himself.
In fact, his two-way play is one of the greatest upsides to his game. Robertson has excellent offensive instincts and a solid shot from the point. He makes smart decisions as to when to throw a puck on net for a deflection or rebound, and when to unleash a booming shot through traffic. Expect Robertson to be push a point-per-game rate with the Oil Kings this year.
- Defensive Positioning
There aren’t any true flaws to Robertson’s game. He’s an all-around defenceman who can play any situation with success. With that said, if there’s an area that could use some maturation on his path towards the NHL, it would be defensive positioning. Robertson is very reliable in his own end and makes smart decisions to break the puck out.
However, there are a few times where Robertson loses his man in front of or beside the net. He is always on the hunt for the puck and has a desire to limit the opponent’s puck possession. As such, he sometimes leaves his post and chases the puck out of his territory. This can leave a man wide-open in front of the net. If Robertson can solidify this aspect of his defensive game, he would be considered a flawless prospect.
Matthew Robertson projects as a probable top-four defenceman, with top-pairing and powerplay potential at the NHL level. He is a player who can be relied upon in any situation, both as a shut-down or an offensive defenceman. Heading into his draft year campaign, Robertson forecasts as a Top-20 pick at the 2019 NHL Draft.