Stars forward Jason Robertson feeling brotherly love in Western Conference final

DALLAS — Jason Robertson is feeling the love in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Dallas Stars winger scored his first post-season hat trick in Game 3 of the Western Conference final earlier this week. His brother, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson, posted a short video clip to social media in the aftermath of his older sibling celebrating a goal.

The pair also chatted on the phone — hockey wasn’t the focus — ahead of Friday’s Game 5 with the Stars and Edmonton Oilers tied 2-2 in their best-of-seven semifinal.

It wasn’t quite Brady Tkachuk chugging beers in the crowd as he followed big brother Matthew and the Calgary Flames a few years back, but the support is appreciated.

“He’d love to still be in the playoffs,” Jason Robertson said of Nick. But when you have a brother who’s still going, your family‘s rooting for you.

“It’s a pretty special moment for our family. I’m sure everyone in this room, their families are just as excited.”

Jason Robertson, 24, had six goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff games this spring entering Friday after an 80-point regular season. The solid showing followed career-highs in goals (45), assists (63) and points (109) in 2022-23.

Two years his junior, Nick Robertson is still trying to find his footing in the NHL after being selected 53rd overall by Toronto at the 2019 draft.

Smaller in stature — Jason stands six foot three, while Nick is five foot nine — he’s dealt with a series of injuries throughout his career, including a shoulder issue that limited him to 17 combined NHL and AHL games in 2022-23.

Cleared to play at the start of training camp back in September following surgery, Nick Robertson was sent to the minors ahead of the regular season because of a roster squeeze in Toronto before eventually getting recalled.

He finished with 14 goals and 27 points in 56 games with the Leafs. The Pasadena, Calif., product dressed six times in the team’s seven-game loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round of this year’s playoffs, finishing without a point.

But perhaps more importantly long-term for the player and organization, the 22-year-old stayed healthy and can focus on training for next season.

Despite seeing limited NHL ice time in 2023-24, he averaged 1.34 goals per 60 minutes, which put him behind only Auston Matthews, who scored a league-leading 70 times, on the Leafs.

“He had a great year,” Jason Robertson said of Nick. “Barely played special teams and he played a lot of even-strength minutes. You see what he can do out there. It’s great to see that he’s able to find his feet, score some goals.”

Big brother sees even brighter days ahead.

“This is his first summer in a long time where he can look back at his season and not be hurt or anything,” he said. “Focus on training this off-season and getting ready for next year.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2024.


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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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