Tristen Robins getting his first taste of the National Hockey League.
The Saskatoon Blades leading-scorer was selected in the 2nd round (56th overall) in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, marking the beginning of a new chapter in his hockey career.
“It was super exciting to see my name pop up on the screen,” said Robins. “It was even more magical spending it with my family.”
The Robins’ Family took in the draft in a similar fashion to most of the hockey world — at home. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NHL to suspend the draft from its usual time in July to October, with teams plucking through the rounds via video-call rather than in-person.
“My family all jumped in the air and gave me hugs, kind of like it would have been if we were at the draft,” added Robins. “I think it’s honestly maybe a little bit better having it at home here with my family. I can spend it with them, and they had all my attention. It was probably a best-case-scenario.”
Making a special day even more memorable, is the rare connection he proudly shares with his father. Trevor Robins was a professional goaltender who was a member of the Sharks organization in the mid-90s, and his son says he’s thrilled to join a team that has direct ties to the Robins’ household.
“It’s honestly felt like it’s been pretty scripted,” continued the 18-year-old. “My dad played his first year in the Western League when he was 17 with the Blades, I played my first year of the Western League with the Blades. My dad didn’t get drafted, but he joined San Jose when he was 20. Then me getting drafted to San Jose is kind of like it was planned.”
The speedy centreman from Clear Lake, MB was the Blades most lethal weapon last season, leading the team with 33 goals and 73 points — nearly triple his output from the previous winter. A majority of those points came in the second half of the season, with 21 goals and 53 points in the final 31 games.
That earned Robins a final ranking of 86th in NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters, a rise of 48 positions from the mid-season mark.
“I think it’s my work ethic and my competitive nature,” added Robins when asked where his surge from the second half sprung from. “I come by it honestly from both of my parents who are extremely hard working and both have an athletic background. I did a lot of stuff in the off-season and during the season, spending extra time on the ice, extra time in the gym to prepare myself and get better. I think that’s what I’ve got to give a lot of the credit to.”
Robins is one of two WHL players drafted by the San Jose Sharks, joining Ozzy Wiesblatt of the Prince Albert Raiders who was taken 31st overall. A grand total of 28 players from the WHL were selected in this year’s draft.
Keep your eyes peeled for this week’s episode of Blades Uncut, which will feature an exclusive interview with Robins moments after he was picked by the Sharks! For more details on the results of this draft, click here.