The Ottawa Senators aren’t used to picking this late in the draft, but we here at Silver Seven believe they can still get a productive piece for the future. That’s the reason we’re selecting Jason Robertson of the Kingston Frontenacs, a 6’2”, 194 lb left-wing.
Robertson put up 81 points (42 goals) in 68 games this year, taking advantage of his increased role in the organization to build off his 32 points (18 goals) in 54 games last year. He also put up 18 points (five goals) in 11 playoff games this year. What’s even more notable is that Robertson basically did it by himself, with the second-best scorer on Kingston (Stephen Desrocher) putting up 51 points. Leading your team in scoring by 30 points is impressive at any level.
28th overall is right in line with the projections, as he’s seen as a first-round/second-round tweener. Hockey Prospect has him 31st, ISS Hockey has him 36th, Future Considerations 27th, McKeen’s 25th, Bob McKenzie 30th, and Craig Button 36th. It may be above the average to take him this high, but not far above the average.
What isn’t entirely clear is why he’s rated so low. As The Bloggers’ Tribune put it so nicely, players with this high a draft-year point total are either top-10 picks or small. Robertson is neither. Some have cited his poor first strides as the reason, though scouting reports also say that once he hits full stride, he’s as fast as anyone in his draft year. Sens fans need only look at Mark Stone as an example of a player with all the tools except for skating who can spend a summer with pro trainers and become a key contributor. Hockey Insider also pegged the fact that he tends to focus more on his own game than his teammates’, though as a goal-scoring power forward, that might be expected. As Ary and Colin pointed out on our site, his late birthday also meant he may have snuck up on scouts by growing closer to the draft.
In all, if Lawson Crouse can be a top-10 pick because he’s big and his point totals were stifled by a low-scoring Kingston team, Jason Robertson may be a steal waiting to happen. It’s the decision Silver Seven is willing to make.
Follow along with the whole mock draft here.