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2020 NHL Draft: Sharks select Tristen Robins with No. 56 pick

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The Shark drafted their second WHL winger of the draft.

Saskatoon Blades forward Tristen Robins #11 chases the action during the third period of a game between the Everett Silvertips and the Saskatoon Blades at Angel of the Winds Arena on November 22, 2019 in Everett, Washington. Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images

With the 56th pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks selected winger Tristen Robins from the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. Pick no. 56 was acquired from the Washington Capitals on Feb. 18, 2020, along with a third-round pick in 2021, in exchange for defender Brenden Dillon. The Capitals previously acquired this pick from the Colorado as part of the package for Andre Burakovsky’s signing rights in June 2019.

Robins had an overall unimpressive rookie season with the Blades in 2019, which meant fewer teams were expecting to have him on their radar in his draft season. But in 62 games with the Blades, Robins tallied 73 points (33 goals, 40 assists) — nearly tripling his points total from the previous year (9 goals, 16 assists). He led the team in goals and points, as well a ranking 11th in goals and 14th in points among all WHL skaters.

Now that drew some attention.

The sudden growth meant Robins was being eyed as a potential sleeper pick. His offensive awareness and high-energy style of play has drawn comparisons to players like Brendan Gallagher, Viktor Arviddson and Brayden Point. The Gallagher comparison felt particularly apt in his rookie season, where Robins was quite under-sized. Size was often cited as a potential downside, but he’s now listed at 5-foot-11 and should continue to add more muscle mass.

There’s also a family connection when it comes to the Sharks: Robins’ father, Trevor, was a professional goaltender who was part of the Sharks organization at one time. Though he did ultimately suit up for San Jose, he played parts of two seasons for the Kansas City Blades of the IHL in the early 90s, while the Blades were the Sharks’ primary affiliate.

The Sharks needed to fill out their depth at wing with this draft. Two of their first three picks are wingers.

Strengths

Robins appears to be the all-around package. He’s a great skater with a strong and accurate shot and he’s able to read goaltenders effectively. As a more creative player, there’s concerns that it could lead to defensive lapses, but his overall hockey IQ sees him making smart plays feel riskier than they are in his hands.

Areas of Improvement

If you take out the size argument, it’s just a matter of time for Robins. He needs to develop against more difficult competition and elevate his game to a level that’s consistent and bringing each of his individual skills into a complete game.

Highlight

Rankings

Elite Prospects: 53
NHL Central Scouting (NA): 86
Future Considerations: 63
McKeen’s Hockey: 55
TSN Craig Button: 82