There is no debate who the New York Islanders top prospect is in their pipeline. Noah Dobson, one of the Isles first-round picks from last year holds that claim. What is Dobson’s next step after this season?
The New York Islanders were jumping for joy when they were on the clock in the first round of last year’s Draft. For both Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom to still be on the board was a Homerun for the Isles organization.
But where will Dobson be for the 2019-20 season?
Dobson had an incredible year playing in the Quebec league (QMJHL). He played for Acadie-Bathurst Titans and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies during the regular season posting 15 goals and 52 points in 56 games. He helped the Huskies win the Quebec league and land in the Memorial Cup.
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Dobson is a two-way player who has a ceiling of a first line defenseman. Worst case scenario he will be an excellent second pairing blueliner.
With the year Dobson has put forth the Islander organization lead by Lou Lamoriello has taken notice. Dobson had already made a big impression on Lou and Barry Trotz back in training camp when he was one of the last cuts.
These past 12 months couldn’t have gone any better for Dobson.
In terms of Dobson joining the Islanders next season, there are a couple of things going against him.
First, Dobson needs to get stronger. At six-foot-three, 185 pounds, the 12th overall pick of the 2018 Draft still needs to add some muscle. Long term this won’t be an issue but in terms of playing in the NHL next season that could be a different story.
Another factor is the Isles depth on defense. The blue and orange currently have seven defensemen on the main roster and all of them are quality NHL D-men. As is it’s created a musical chairs situation when everyone is healthy. This depth on the big club has blocked the kids in Bridgeport which includes Sebastian Aho, Mitchell Vande Sompel, and Parker Wotherspoon.
The final factor to consider is if Dobson were to spend the majority of next season in junior hockey as opposed to playing for the Islanders, he would be exempt from the expansion draft in June 2021. Players who have less than two years of pro experience are exempt from Seattle’s expansion draft.
When one adds all of this up it means Dobson should get one more year of development.
Islander fans should be very excited about Dobson as he will be one of the future core players for years to come. The blue and orange faithful are just going to have to wait a little while longer before he lands on Long Island.