Possible Trade Destinations for Maple Leafs' Nick Robertson

Vince Carbonneau
July 8, 2024  (9:50)

Nick Robertson in action with Toronto
Photo credit: DobberProspects

Nick Robertson's Tough NHL Journey

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Robertson has faced significant challenges on his path to the NHL. At 22, he has dealt with major injuries that have hindered his tenure, and even when healthy, he hasn't found a proper fit as a top-six forward in Toronto.
Reports emerged last week that Robertson has requested a trade, which came as little surprise. Perhaps he doesn't see a long-term future with the Leafs and could find a better fit elsewhere. Drafted at No. 53 overall in 2019, Robertson might benefit from a fresh start. If the relationship between the Leafs and Robertson cannot be mended, where might he find a suitable new home? Here are a few potential destinations:
San Jose Sharks
As a California native, Robertson might find a comfortable fit with the Sharks, who need help in nearly every area. If San Jose is willing to offer a second-round draft pick—the Leafs don't have their own second-rounder until 2027—and a mid-tier prospect, it could appeal to Leafs GM Brad Treliving. The cap space saved would allow Toronto to make other roster moves, and the Sharks would gain a young player to complement Will Smith and 2024 No. 1 overall pick Macklin Celebrini. Playing closer to home would likely appeal to Robertson, and the Leafs wouldn't have to worry about facing him as a divisional rival.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are in the early stages of a rebuild, with potential roster shuffling on the horizon. If Columbus GM Don Waddell trades veteran forward Boone Jenner, a spot in the top-six could open up. Robertson would face less pressure in the quieter hockey market of Ohio. Toronto could receive a high draft pick and a decent prospect in return. Robertson would get a fresh start, and the Leafs would restock their draft capital while playing the Jackets only a few times per season.
Vegas Golden Knights
Despite being over the salary cap ceiling, the proactive Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon could pursue Robertson, boosting their middle-six forward group. The Leafs might accept one of Vegas' second-round picks (they have three in the next three drafts) or a decent prospect. Robertson would be closer to home, and the Leafs could open a roster spot for a youngster like Easton Cowan or Fraser Minten. This win-win deal would allow Vegas to add a potential 20-25 goal scorer without losing any NHL roster players, while Toronto would resolve a roster issue.
In conclusion, Nick Robertson's request for a trade opens up several intriguing possibilities. Whether it's the Sharks, Blue Jackets, or Golden Knights, each destination offers unique benefits for both Robertson and the Leafs.
Possible Trade Destinations for Maple Leafs' Nick Robertson

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