2020-21 Team: Val-d’Or Foreurs
Date of Birth: Mar. 13, 2003
Place of Birth: Plano, Texas, USA
Ht: 5-foot-7 Wt: 173 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 47th (amongst NA skaters)
- FC Hockey: 67th
- TSN/McKenzie: 66th
- Recruit Scouting: 40th
- Smaht Scouting: 74th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 59th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 60th
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 49th
The son of long-time NHLer Stephane Robidas, Justin Robidas of the Val-d’Or Foreurs is projected to be a top prospect in the 2021 NHL draft. An offensive-minded center, Justin plays a different kind of role from his father, who made a 14-year NHL career as a sturdy defenseman. But where they are similar, however, is their well-rounded toolkit and detail-oriented games.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Robidas’ biggest strengths are his fluid skating, intelligence and awareness, and for a player of his stature, those are crucial qualities to have. Robidas stands at 5-foot-7, 173 pounds, making him one of the smallest eligible players in the 2021 draft. He doesn’t play small, however. With 19 goals and 17 assists in 35 games, Robidas finished fourth on the Foreurs in points as he helped Val-d’Or capture second place in the QMJHL’s 2020-21 season.
Robidas likes to model his game after Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point. Offensively, Robidas excels at finding open ice and creating space for his linemates. He understands where to be as plays are developing, and often skates himself into positions that make him difficult to defend against. He has good hands with the puck, and can elevate it in tight spaces. He doesn’t have an overly powerful shot, but places it well.
On the attack, Robidas usually likes to take the puck wide where he can draw defenders out of position, or catch them on their heels with his quick feet. When bigger defensemen take away the outside drive option, he sometimes has a hard time contending in the middle of the ice. That’s not to say he won’t compete physically – his size and agility make him difficult to pin down. With more muscle mass, he could become an explosive skater with an annoying kind of evasiveness.
There’s more to be desired when it comes to Robidas’ playmaking, as his passing isn’t always perfect, but he has a natural feel for the ice and a good hockey IQ. An alternate captain of the Foreurs, Robidas is tasked with offensive and defensive responsibilities, and would be an asset to NHL teams in both facets of the game. Propelled by his competitive nature and fortitude, he can be an impact player from top to bottom of an NHL lineup.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Justin Robidas – NHL Draft Projection
Robidas isn’t a flashy type of player, but he’s very effective at the intangibles. With his solid base of skills, Robidas will be a sought-after prospect, but not quite the talent of a first-round pick. He will likely be selected in the latter half of the second round, but could fall to Round 3 due to his size.
“While he is a smaller player, this shouldn’t worry teams. He is bulky, and is not knocked over easily. There are countless times where I see Robidas protect the puck from bigger players, and even initiate a puck battle with them. Robidas has tremendous speed but can make plays while keeping his momentum. He has an excellent shot and can play an important role on the power play with the amount of patience he has, and his ability to create space. There is one thing for certain though – Robidas doesn’t let his height effect his game.” – Gavin Chiasson, Recruit Scouting
“He carries himself with confidence but not in a cocky manner, and he plays as if he knows he belongs… Although there does not appear to be one stand-alone skill that sets Robidas well apart from his peers, his ability to perform at a high level in multiple areas both on and off the puck is what helps offset his lack of size…. Off the puck, Robidas is both sound and smart; rarely is he caught on the wrong side of the puck or player in his own end. He battles and competes hard, but Robidas also shows a willingness to get his nose dirty.” – Danny McGillicuddy, The Draft Analyst
- Hockey IQ
- Shot accuracy
- Puck control
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Pass accuracy
- Shot power
- Puck protection
Small guys like Robidas can succeed in the NHL, but they need to develop exceptional levels of strength and commitment. He has a good arsenal of tools that will make him successful at the NHL level, but he’s a raw prospect who will need a bit of polishing. His ceiling is a middle-six center who can play center or right wing. He could be a power play contributor and a solid energy guy who can add depth scoring.
Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10, Defense – 6/10
Robidas played for Quebec and won gold at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. That same year, his Magog Catonniers won the QMAAA championship. This season, Robidas helped his Foreurs earn the No. 1 playoff seed as the top team in Quebec – and second-best team in the QMJHL – with a glimmering 29-3-4 record. They kick off their playoff run Apr. 24 against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.
Justin Robidas Statistics
Matt Cosman is a Sheridan College print journalism graduate from Oakville, Ontario. I’ve been with THW since 2019 covering the Carolina Hurricanes, one of my favorite childhood teams. When I’m not in my hockey bubble you can probably catch me jamming out on the piano or losing money at the poker tables.