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NHL debut an eye-opening experience for Arcadia native Robertson

 

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Jason Robertson didn’t sleep the night before he made his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars.

The Arcadia native was called up from the AHL’s Texas Stars on Feb. 12 and played for Dallas the next day in Toronto, a 3-2 win for Dallas over the Maple Leafs. He assisted on Tyler Seguin’s game-winning goal early in the third period skating on a power play.

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“I took a shower. I shaved. I had nothing else to do,” Robertson said to the Dallas News. “I was on my phone all night, especially because it was an early flight. It was a 7:45 flight so I’ve got to be up at 5:30. We get to the hotel at 12:30. I only have five hours, then an hour goes by, hour goes by. I look, it’s like 4 o’clock. I’m like ‘I can’t even sleep now. I can’t even try.’”

Last season, Robertson led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 48 goals and 117 points split between the Kingston Frontenacs and Niagara Ice Dogs.

He was originally Dallas’ second-round pick (39th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

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“You can be lackadaisical in juniors but here in pro, you’re always go go go,” Robertson said. “No nights off, that’s something they kind of drill in me in main camp and my first couple months in Texas. These last couple months have been really good for me and I think that’s confidence.”

With Texas, Robertson, who played youth hockey for the Pasadena Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Jr. Kings before moving to suburban Detroit prior to his teen years, had posted 22 goals and 40 points in 54 games.

Dallas sent Robertson back down to the AHL on Feb. 17.

“I don’t even know,” Robertson said after his NHL debut. “I played last night in Milwaukee and then I come here and play the Maple Leafs. They’re so skilled and it’s so fast out there. I thought I played pretty well and kept up with the pace.

“It’s been a whirlwind, but very exciting.”

Stars photo/AHL; Draft photo/Matt Mackinder

— Matt Mackinder

(March 17, 2020)