1. Noah Dobson Makes Top 3 in Calder
To be fair, I thought Noah Dobson would have received more playing time than the 14 games he’s played to date. I knew it was going to be tough to unseat Johnny Boychuk as the number six defenseman, but I believed Dobson would have been closer than he is.
I truly believed that Dobson would have powered his way up the depth chart by now. But in all fairness, Johnny Boychuk has made that quite difficult with some inspired play of his own.
Boychuk has been an incredible force on the blueline for the Islanders. At 35-years-old he isn’t the dominant top-pair defender the Isles acquired in 2014, but he’s that steady veteran presence that every team needs in their lineup.
Dobson is clearly the number seven blueliner in the squad. But with Adam Pelech out for the rest of the season, Dobson will get his opportunity to get consistent game time. With a maximum of 55 games played this season, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Dobson to get on Calder ballot.