Betty and Dan Caruk of Dauphin spend many nights throughout the winter months glued to their TV to watch their grandson play hockey. Tristen Robins is in his second full year of Major Jr. hockey as he's playing with the Saskatoon Blades.
Last season was his first when he scored nine goals and added 16 assists for 25 points in the regular season. He showed more of what he could do in the playoffs when he scored three goals and added a helper in 10 games.
This year, the young man who lives in Clear Lake had a goal of doing big things and that goal was clearly accomplished. He scored 33 goals and chipped in with 40 assists. The 73 point total is 48 more than last year and this year, he played in six fewer games.
When the regular season was suspended earlier this month, Tristen and the rest of the Blades still had another five games. Meaning, he would have likely increased his total by at least a few points. Robins was averaging 1.17 points-per-game this season. If he continued with that pace for the remaining five games, he would have finished with at least 78 points.
"I certainly can't take all of the credit, I was playing with some great line mates," said Robins. "We were really seeing each other on the ice and we made some pretty solid things happen."
The line of Robins, Kyle Crnkovic, and Martin Fasko-Rudas was formed in the second half. As mentioned above, Robins finished the campaign with 73 points. Crnkovic had 64 in 63 games while Fasko-Rudas finished with 18 in 23 games.
In the team's eventual last game of the season on March 10, Robins scored one goal and he added one assist while Crnkovic also scored a goal. Three days prior, Tristen and Kyle lit it up again. Robins scored one goal and had two assists while Crnkovic had two goals and two assists.
"Having that full year under my belt was super beneficial, I had a good feeling coming into the season on what it took to succeed," continued Robins. "I also had more of an opportunity this season. I was playing with some great guys in big situations."
Not only was Tristen and his entire line having success, but the team was as well. Saskatoon was holding onto the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference and they were only three points back of Brandon for the third spot in the East Division. The Blades won their last three games and they went 7-3 in their final 10 games before the suspension and eventual cancellation of the season.
They in all won 34 games this season. Last year they won 45 games and they lost to the Prince Albert Raiders in the second round of the playoffs who eventually won the Western Hockey League. After that disappointment and solid campaign this year, Tristen was ready for a push; however, that won't happen.
"Losing out in the second round last year certainly left a bitter taste in our mouth," continued Robins. "We thought we had a good group this year and we were ready for a good push. It's unfortunate that we have to wait for another year, but we understand that it has to happen."
Tristen's season also certainly didn't go unnoticed from several scouts in the pro ranks. The Clear Lake resident is eligible to be selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He's currently ranked #69 by Future Considerations when it comes to his draft stock. Being drafted; however, may have to wait a bit as the scouting combine and Entry Draft have been postponed because of COVID-19. The 2020 Draft was originally set for June 26-27 in Montreal.
Despite the postponement, Robins is staying positive and he knows this is just a bump in the road.
"I was looking forward to this of course, but it's still going to happen and I'm really excited about it," continued Robins.
Robins also adds that it doesn't matter where he gets selected, he'll be ready for any challenge that is ahead for him.
"Whoever is going to call my name it's going to be a special and exciting moment and I sure can't wait for it," concluded Robins.
For a fun flashback, it took Robins just four games to record his first point in the WHL. Playing with Saskatoon in the 2017-2018 season, Robins had one assist in three games after he played a single game with Regina in that season.