Despite the various struggles of the Dallas Stars’ season, there have been positives along the way. One of the more notable positives has been the development of rookie Jason Robertson.
Quickly Becoming A Rookie Sensation
Robertson had a slow start to the season, going pointless through the first three games he appeared in. He wasn’t consistently in the lineup and had to work his way up to where he is now, but has since recorded 21 points in his last 24 appearances. The 21-year-old forward ranks second in points among league rookies with six goals, 15 assists, and 21 points through 27 games this season.
It’s clear to see that he’s shaken off the nerves that come along with getting your first substantial NHL opportunity and seems to have settled into the team dynamic. Head coach Rick Bowness even said that Robertson is the most improved player on the team this season. He’s been able to not only adapt to NHL play, but he’s also been able to flourish in an abysmal Stars season. He arguably had his best game of the season on March 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks, recording four points in the Stars win. He’s the first rookie in franchise history to have a four-point game since Hall of Fame forward Jere Lehtinen.
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He’s become more confident both offensively and defensively and has been more involved in physical play. He’s not afraid to engage in puck battles or go to the dirty areas of the ice, and it has played a huge role in his success. If he continues building his confidence in all areas of his game, there’s no doubt that things will only continue to improve for the rookie.
Major Impact on the Team
Robertson opts to handle and distribute the puck rather than shoot. Fifteen of his 21 points have been assists, and when he was placed on a line with Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski, the team saw an incredible offensive performance from the trio.
It’s no secret as to why, either. Robertson’s playmaking skills combined with the scoring abilities of Hintz and Pavelski is a recipe for success. Unfortunately, Hintz has been in and out of the lineup due to injury, but when he’s in, that line is electric.
His success also translates to the rest of the team. It’s a morale booster for the rest of the guys to rally around the energy that a player like Robertson brings, not only in the locker room but on ice as well.
Making a Case for the Calder
With the number of unfortunate injuries that have plagued the Stars roster, the rest of the team has had to step up. Robertson has been one of those players. Not only has he stepped up, but he’s becoming one of the team’s top producers.
As a result, he’s emerged as a dark horse in the Calder Trophy race. He wasn’t an extremely hyped-up rookie going into this season, but he’s quickly started to be part of the Calder conversation. While it is a little early to say if he’ll definitely be a finalist for the trophy, he’s making a pretty strong case for himself.
He’s becoming a very valuable asset to the team especially now as the Stars are having a pretty rough season. The work he’s put in off the ice hasn’t gone unnoticed as he continues to get more and more ice time. He also got a great group of veteran players to learn from, and while he’ll make mistakes along the way as every rookie does, the future looks very bright for Robertson.