TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs held its annual week-long development camp, where a roster of hockey players got a chance to hone their skills on the ice in time for Saturday’s scrimmage.
Among the draft picks is 17-year-old Fil-Am Nick Robertson, from Southern California.
Robertson is giving it all he’s got.
At 5-foot-9, left winger Nick Robertson is considered undersized compared to other players in his draft class, but this does not stop him from getting close to the net.
With his impressive hockey skills, he is now the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first pick in the NHL draft.
“I’ve always been a smaller guy but I don’t think it ever brings me down in any case. I use it as an advantage and with my lower center of gravity, I can turn quicker than all the bigger guys. I think I’m very skilled. A lot of points in the puck. I can handle it pretty well. I’m very tenacious.”
Now the third hockey talent of Filipino descent to be drafted into the NHL, Robertson says he and his family hopes for more Filipino kids to play hockey as it gains popularity among Asians.
“It’s kind of unusual to see Filipino people excel at hockey, but I’m trying to set an example for other kids. There are a lot of Asians in California that are coming up. Once people see how much hockey is growing in the Asian community — I try to hopefully get more Filipinos to play hockey.”
Robertson credits his success to his parents who sacrificed a lot to get him to where he is now. He says being home-schooled helped him to be more mature and responsible. With hockey in his life, he says he didn’t miss the usual teenage fun.
“I think that just helped me overall just managing time off the ice… I think it kind of just formed me into the way I am and hockey’s always been in my life.”
Robertson’s journey to the NHL just proves that height or color doesn’t matter — it’s how well you play the game that will help you score the goal.