Per Scott Wheeler of the Athletic and other sources, New York Rangers’ defensive prospect Matthew Robertson is one of five players being sent home from Team Canada’s roster for the upcoming World Juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer. Robertson and the others were deemed “unfit to continue to play based on return-to-play protocols.”
Scott Salmond, vice president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada, told members of the media that two players and one non-core staff member tested positive for COVID-19. No matter how you look at this for Robertson, it’s not good.
“This is not a hockey decision. This is a health decision based on return-to-play protocols. They were unable to continue with camp today. Feel horribly for those kids.”
Nope. Not good.
At the moment, there’s no concrete answer on Robertson testing positive for COVID-19. However, this early dismissal is definitely surprising for the Edmonton Oil King. Robertson was expected to compete for a roster spot on Canada’s blue line. Thisleaves Canada with 41 players — with 17 more cuts to come.
In the first media avail since Team Canada started its 14-day quarantine, VP Scott Salmond says five players have been sent home/didn’t qualify for return to play. They are: Matthew Robertson (NYR), Ridly Greig (OTT), Daemon Hunt (MIN), Mason Millman (PHI), and Xavier Simoneau.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 8, 2020
Robertson, 19, was the Rangers’ 49th pick of the 2019 Draft. The 6-foot-4 defender scored 13 goals and piled up 34 assists for the Oil Kings in the WHL in 2019-20 after notching 33 points in 52 games in 2018-19.
Exhibition games for the 2021 World Juniors are on the docket for Dec. 20-23.