New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson will get his opportunity to play a full season in 2020-21.
With a crowded defensive core and not having the age requirement to play in the AHL, Noah Dobson didn’t hit the ice as often as he would have liked for the New York Islanders in 2019-20. He logged 34 games in the regular season and skated in one playoff game.
Most of that playing time came after Adam Pelech was sidelined with a season-ending injury. Dobson played in eleven games of a possible 38 before Pelech was ruled out and then played 27 of a possible 30 after Pelech’s injury.
That won’t be the case for Dobson this season.
Room for One
With the unfortunate news that Johnny Boychuk has decided to hang up his skates, there’s an opening on the right side of the blue line for the Islanders. Recently extended Ryan Pulock will be the top blueliner on the right side, followed by Scott Mayfield after him. But with Boychuk no longer an option, there’s an opening on the third pair.
That’s where Dobson steps in.
Dobson showed great potential in the few games he played in 19-20. His ability to exit the zone, make a smart first-time pass, and his poise on the puck all at the young age of 20 are incredible assets as he develops into that top-pair blueliner.
During the team’s pre-playoff training camp, the duo of Dobson and Andy Greene were as good as any other defensive pair on the team according to Barry Trotz.
And look, he’s going to make mistakes. Remember January 4, when the Islanders face the Leafs in Toronto? That was Dobson second game after the Pelech injury and Kasperi Kapanen absolutely embarrassed the kid with this nutmeg before setting up Pierre Engvall for the opening goal (and game-winner) on the night.
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I can’t wait to see Dobson get a chance to cut his chops in the NHL under the stewardship of Barry Trotz no less. Trotz has brought up an impressive list of top-tier defensemen in the NHL. The Isles bench boss is responsible for guys like Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, and Ryan Ellis. I’m confident he can do the same with Noah Dobson.