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Born in Toronto, Roberts grew up in Proton Station, Ontario (now a part of Southgate) near Flesherton, Ontario. He attended Grey Highlands Secondary School and played hockey for local teams until he was old enough to move up to Junior B hockey.
Roberts's junior hockey career started with the 1972–73 Owen Sound Greys of the Mid-Ontario Junior B Hockey League. With the help of Roberts, the Greys won their league championship. The Greys eventually came with in a win of defeating the Toronto Nationals, which would have given them the chance to win the Sutherland Cup as provincial champions. The next season saw him move up to the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League. In three seasons with the 67's, Roberts tabulated 62 goals and 176 points in 188 regular seasons games.
In 1976, after three seasons with the 67's, Roberts was drafted 31st overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft. The same year, Roberts was also drafted 34th overall by the Houston Aeros in the 1976 WHA Amateur Draft. Roberts started the 1976–77 season off in the American Hockey League with the New Haven Nighthawks, but after ten games was brought up to play with the Stars for the rest of the season. Roberts split the 1977–78 season between the North Stars and the Central Hockey League's Fort Worth Texans and split the 1978–79 season between the North Stars and the CHL's Oklahoma City Stars. At the end of the season, the North Stars left Roberts unprotected and he was picked up by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1979 NHL Expansion Draft; however, he never played another game in the National Hockey League. In 106 National Hockey League games, Roberts scored 17 goals and had 23 assists with 33 penalty minutes, all with the Minnesota North Stars.
In 1979–80, Roberts jumped from the Tulsa Oilers to the Cincinnati Stingers of the CHL and Maine Mariners of the AHL before retiring from professional hockey at the end of the season. Afterwards, he returned to the Flesherton area and played senior hockey for the Ontario Hockey Association's Durham Huskies for several years.
- ↑ (June 1971) Grey Highlands Yearbook 1970-1971, 12.
- Jim Roberts's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
- Jim Roberts's biography at Legends of Hockey
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