Islanders Noah Dobson Primed and Ready to Go
By Mike Lewis
The New York Islanders’ season ending the way it did and on the note that it did is nothing short of disappointing. Would they have made the playoffs?
When the 2019-2020 season came to an abrupt halt the New York Islanders were on a major slide. The Isles were 0-3-4 in their final seven games before the suspended games started to come into play. Barry Trotz still sounded confident about his team making the playoffs if the season did resume.
What we do know, is that the Islanders were on a big skid. Not a Barry Trotz-esque skid, but a Doug Weight-esque skid, and that’s a real bummer, but perhaps the biggest disappointment, to me, was that Noah Dobson was finally starting to show what he’s made of.
I keep seeing the play at the tale end of the third period where Dobson took it behind the Carolina net with Foegele playing him tight, gets a step and a wrap-around to Josh Bailey for the easy goal.
Two games later Dobson again makes a nice up to Nelson. It really seemed like Noah’s game had begun to turn the corner, and while the Islanders will still get to see him play, and he will still have more chances to improve, the likelihood of him getting to play next to Boychuk and Leddy in the 20-21 campaign is looking grim.
The Blue Line Is a Definite Strength
Even if the Islanders let Boychuk or Leddy go in the offseason, they are in good shape on the blue line. Ryan Pulock had begun to step up his offensive presence at the tail end of the season and Adam Pelech, a man who nearly every fan underestimated the importance of, will be back.
Dobson looks to play well into this group. Like Devon Toews, he has shown the ability to evade opposing skaters and help to make clean entries. It seems ridiculous to say, but this is one of the Islanders weakest points, so another skilled puck handler is a pleasant addition.
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No matter who plays with Dobson, it seems clear that he is going to be a special player. With age, he’ll likely grow stronger on the puck and be just the type of two-way player that Trotz likes to see.