Battalion Breakdown is a closer look at the Blue Jackets' past season on a player-by-player basis. Today, BlueJackets.com continues the series by looking at Eric Robinson's season and how it impacted Columbus during the 2018-19 campaign.
Birth date: June 14, 1995
Height/Weight: 6-2, 200
Stats (Games, G-A-P, point shares): 13 GP, 0-0-0, -0.4 PS
Contract: Signed through 2019-20 season
When you see Eric Robinson, you see the skills of an NHL player.
A big body with excellent speed, Robinson looks the part of someone who could make a big impact in the NHL.
He even showed off some offensive talent this past season, getting to the difficult areas on the ice and having a number of scoring chances.
The next step will be putting it all together and getting on the scoresheet the more he plays. Robinson was scoreless in his 13 games with the Blue Jackets this season but it wasn't for a lack of trying, as he went through a stretch where it seemed he'd have a handful of good scoring chances each game.
Entering the season: The New Jersey native signed with the Blue Jackets late in the 2017-18 season after a standout final season with Princeton in which he had career bests of 17 goals and 31 points. He also made his debut for the Jackets in the finale of the campaign. He figured to spend his first pro season with Cleveland of the AHL while getting used to the nuances of the pro game.
What happened: That's largely how it went, except Robinson found himself in a situation where he was called up and played a fourth-line role for the Blue Jackets in late February and early March. He looked at home there, using his speed and size to make it difficult on opponents. Come the trade deadline, he was seeing regular action and wasn't sent down to Cleveland to make him eligible to take part in the AHL playoffs.
But once the Blue Jackets added Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel at the deadline and later brought in Alexandre Texier, there just wasn't much room for Robinson, who ended up not playing after March 21 and didn't suit up in any of the Blue Jackets' 10 playoff games.
When he did play, it's hard to believe he didn't get on the scoresheet, as he had a number of excellent scoring chances the more playing time he got. He showed a bit of a scoring touch with Cleveland, posting a 12-12-24 line in 45 games.
"Great speed, great size, does the work on the wall and has made good plays," head coach John Tortorella said in February. "He's ended up with a ton of scoring chacnes through these games -- hasn't scored, but has ended up with a lot of chances. To me, it's great. It's a young kid that has stepped in and played, and we get to teach and we get to develop, and he has helped the club at a very important time in the year."
Without getting on the scoresheet, it's hard to find a highlight on the ice for Robinson, but he did get the chance to play in his home state of New Jersey late in the season when the Blue Jackets visited the Devils. Here's what he had to say about the trip.
Video: Robinson talks about playing close to home
By the Numbers
24: Robinson laid 24 hits in his 13 games on the season, including a career-high five in a game vs. San Jose on Feb. 23.
52.0: The team's CF% was 52.0 when he was on the ice, and he had an expected goal margin of plus-0.4 in his brief tenure.
11:50: Robinson played 11:50 per game, including a career-high 15:17 during the team's Feb. 19 game at Montreal.