New York Islanders prospect Noah Dobson opened his account at the 2019 World Junior Championship with an outstanding goal. Showing why the Islanders picked him 12th overall and why he’ll be a huge factor in the not so distant future.
With the 12th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders selected defenseman Noah Dobson. Coming off a Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titans and 69 points in 66 games played, Dobson was drafted with high potential.
Since drafting him, Dobson’s been relatively quiet. After winning the Memorial Cup last season, the Acadie-Bathurst Titans have taken a significant step back falling all the way down the QMJHL standings. Prompting them to trade Dobson to the team at the top of the league, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Dobson has still been good for the Titans before the trade with 16 points in 28 games. But the narrative hasn’t been as glowing as it should be. But Dobson’s goal for Team Canada at the World Juniors reminds us of his skill set.
Intelligence and Strength
In his second game with Team Canada Noah Dobson put up his first goal of the tournament. With a 2-1 lead against the Swiss, Dobson picked up the puck in the neutral zone and drove to the net to finish five-hole for the 3-1 lead and eventual game-winner.
The goal showed a lot of qualities that made Noah Dobson a top pick in the draft and why the Islanders see him as a difference maker for them on the blue line.
First is the positional awareness to be in a position to be ready to receive the puck in the neutral zone. Typically defensemen stay behind the puck. But as Dobson clears the puck out of the zone he follows the play forward into the offensive zone where his run is met by a Barrett Hayton pass.
Secondly, his strength and his power takes over as he crosses into the O-zone. He isn’t clear on net, there are still a defender to beat. Dobson isn’t the slightest of foot which allows the Swiss defender to catch up to him and make contact to knock Dobson off the puck and his trajectory towards the net. Dobson, who has the inside position, is able to shake the defensive play, shield the puck and get the puck on goal.
Finishing five-hole was the icing on the cake. Dobson didn’t have much time or space to pick a place a shoot but with the goalie square and standing up the five-hole was the only option. The goalie must have known that the only option was the five-hole, but still wasn’t able to close it in time thanks to Dobson’s deceptively quick shot.
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Intelligence, power, strength, finishing are all of the aspects that played into taking Noah Dobson 12th overall in the 2018 draft. All of those aspects were on display for his goal against the Swiss team.