Developing Story: Dennis Robertson
In Developing Story, a regular feature on collegehockeyinc.com, we highlight current college hockey players who have developed their skills during their careers – either on the ice or off – and in turn made a bigger impact on their team’s success.
Brown senior captain Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, B.C./Langley-BCHL/CAR) has great motivation as the Bears begin the ECAC playoffs this weekend at St. Lawrence.
He wants to extend his college career as long as possible.
“I try not to think about the season ending. I don’t want to leave, I love it here,” he said. “I’m living on a day-to-day basis and trying to do all I can to help this team.”
Robertson has a pro career awaiting him whenever the Bears season does end. He was drafted by Toronto after his freshman year and had his rights traded to Carolina this season. He’s in demand thanks in part to his development at Brown.
Notre Dame's Bryan Rust
“I’ve gained the ability to play the game at a much faster level,” he said. “It’s thinking the game faster, moving the puck faster, moving your feet faster – doing things at game speed at this level that I couldn’t do when I got here.
“You’re playing against big, strong guys, and if you don’t play faster, you’re in trouble.”
Playing at that faster pace has required Robertson to improve his footwork and decision making. He credits head coach Brendan Whittet and his assistant coaches for working with him and helping him make those improvements.
“I’ve worked on my footwork a lot,” he said. “I’ve learned to anticipate more, so that I can read the play and make a decision, rather than react to it. I’ve learned to move the puck as quickly as possible and get my shot off more quickly.”
A two-year captain and the only NHL draftee on the Bears’ roster, Robertson has had a bit of a storybook college career. He’s earned multiple All-Ivy and All-ECAC honors, led the team to the ECAC Hockey championship game last year, is ahead of schedule to graduate and even rescued three teenagers from drowning.
It’s no wonder that Robertson cherishes his university experience so much.
“Everything has been great,” he said. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t come here. I’ve loved everything about it.”