2021-22 Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Date of Birth: June 22, 2003
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 190 pounds
Position: Right Wing/Center
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 second-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: 162nd (Among N.A. Skaters)
- The Puck Authority’s Mid-Season Ranking: 22nd
- Craig Button’s Final Ranking: 67th
- Dobber Prospects’ Final Rankings: Honorable Mention
Tucker Robertson is a bit of an anomaly heading into the 2022 NHL Draft. He put up very strong numbers in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this season, scoring 41 goals and 81 points in 68 games, putting him second in points and first in goals on the Peterborough Petes, as well as 11th in league goals. However, he hasn’t appeared on many rankings heading into the draft. Part of that is likely due to the fact this is his second time at the NHL Draft, having been passed over in 2021. Older prospects tend to perform better than younger players because they are given more opportunities. But there’s another reason that’s playing a bigger part – he didn’t play last year.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
The 2020 NHL Draft was unpredictable, to put it mildly, and saw several older prospects, like Yegor Chinkhov, picked far earlier than expected, while many younger, less well-known prospects, like Robertson, were left to wait until next year. After a mediocre rookie season in 2019-20, where he put up 18 points in 55 games as a 16-year-old, he was primed for a big sophomore season. Yet that season never came to be; the OHL, fearing the effects of the pandemic on junior players, made the difficult decision to cancel the entire 2020-21 season. Some bigger-named prospects like Mason McTavish, a teammate of Robertson’s on the Petes, travelled to Europe to play, but many were simply left without anywhere to go.
Yet Robertson was determined to not let that happen again. “I used it as motivation,” he said in an interview with the Petes. “I was pretty frustrated when I didn’t get drafted but I knew that I was gonna make it and I’m gonna change a lot of people’s minds. The biggest thing is that I get to play this year and show people how much I have improved.” That may have been an understatement. In the first 28 games of the season, he got off to a blazing start, scoring 19 times and adding 41 points in that span, including a six-point outing against the Ottawa 67s on Nov 21.
Heading into the 2021-22 season, the Petes weren’t expected to be competitive. They traded McTavish to the Hamilton Bulldogs, easily their best player, for a handful of picks, a depth forward, and a prospect, who was immediately flipped for Chase Stillman. That thrust Robertson into the spotlight, and he thrived, playing his best hockey when he was given the most responsibility. After the OHL Trade Deadline, he slowed down a bit, but still scored 22 goals and 40 points in 40 games to finish the season. Thanks to his herculean efforts, the Petes snuck into the playoffs, and although they fell to the Bulldogs in four games, Robertson still had a point per game, three of which were goals.
What makes Roberson such an effective player is his relentless motor. He never takes a shift off, which prompted his coach to see if he’d like to try out center this season. Seven months later, the former winger was leading the entire league in faceoff attempts and wins. He’s also been incredibly dangerous on the penalty kill and he also led the OHL with eight short-handed goals. It’s no surprise he possesses such a fantastic work ethic; he comes from a long line of athletes, including a grandfather who won the Calder Cup in 1955-56 and a mother who won the national basketball title at Bishop’s University.
Beyond his work ethic, Robertson is a smart, two-way player who can contribute in every area, using a strong skating stride and decent speed to get himself into position. He doesn’t have the same flash as higher-end scorers but can still pull off highlight-reel moves with subtle dekes and misdirection, and he’s demonstrated incredible patience when handling the puck, waiting until the perfect moment to pass or shoot. But when he needs to be, he can quickly fire the puck on target, making him difficult for opposing goalies to read, especially when he’s in close. There’s little he can’t do, and there’s no chance he’ll be passed over again in 2022.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Tucker Robertson – NHL Draft Projection
Projecting overaged prospects is always difficult. Brett Leason was well regarded in 2019, but fell to 52nd overall, while Yegor Chinakhov was selected 21st overall in 2020 by the Columbus Blue Jackets despite not being ranked by any major scouting outlets. While it’s highly unlikely Robertson is grabbed in the first round, he’s done more than enough to catch the eyes of the NHL, and won’t have to wait too long to hear his name. Look for him to end up as a second or third-round selection.
“Robertson is a hardworking forward who plays a straight-ahead style of hockey. He is a fine skater but his motor is unrelenting as he pressures opponents and hounds pucks on the forecheck. He has the ability to create turnovers and make opponents pay by quickly turning play up ice to create a chance for himself or a teammate. This is often evident on the penalty kill where Robertson proved to be a consistent scoring threat for the Petes this season. He doesn’t necessarily flash overwhelming skill or creativity as a playmaker but he can score in a variety of ways, due in large part to his quick hands and ability to execute in tight spaces.” Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“…Robertson is turning out to be a first-round talent who will almost certainly get a legitimate crack at making Canada’s team for the World Junior Championship. Not only does he lead the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 15 goals and 34 points in 17 games – which also ties him for first in the Canadian Hockey League – nobody in the OHL has taken more draws than the 447 Robertson has taken, nor has anyone won more than the 257 he has won.” Ken Campbell, The Hockey News
- Work ethic
- Shot selection and quickness
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Overall upside
Despite his strong offensive season and few weaknesses in his game, it’s unlikely Robertson ends up as a top-six scoring forward in the NHL. However, he still has a lot of the skills to be a strong depth forward who can provide secondary scoring. A potential comparison is someone like Darren Helm, who was a top scorer in junior, recording 41 goals in 2005-06 with the Medicine Hat Tigers, and went on to be a 30-point player in the NHL.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 6/10
Robertson was the most honoured player at the Petes’ year-end awards, taking home the Molson Cup for the most three-star selections, the Ed Rowe Memorial Trophy for the most goals, and the Petes Executive Trophy, given to the most valuable player on the team as voted by their teammates. He also was one of the 88 players invited to attend the Canadian World Junior selection camp, set to take place in July for the upcoming World Juniors in August. Last season, despite being passed over in the draft, he was invited to the Carolina Hurricanes prospect tournament.
Tucker Robertson Statistics
- Tucker Robertson focused on next season with Peterborough Petes
- Tucker Robertson: Petes Star in the Middle of a Breakout Season
An elementary teacher by day and an avid hockey fan, Dayton joined The Hockey Writers in 2019 and currently covers the Ottawa Senators, World Juniors, and NHL Entry Draft.