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Islanders: Noah Dobson streak highlights success of Travis Hamonic trade

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Noah Dobson #8 of the New York Islanders during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 18: Noah Dobson #8 of the New York Islanders during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena on February 18, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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With a secondary assist on Anders Lee‘s opening goal in the New York Islanders third-straight 5-2 over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, Noah Dobson now has a three-game point streak to his name.

The Islanders twelve overall pick in 2018 now has eleven points this season in 25 games. That’s a 0.44 point-per-game pace, assuming that continues it could see him hit 25 points in 56 games. Over a full 82-game schedule, he’d be on pace for 36 points.

That type of production got me thinking about the fact that he’s only just turned 21 this January and was only an Islanders thanks to the trade that sent Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames in the summer of 2017.

New York Islanders are reaping the rewards of Travis Hamonic trade

That summer, the Islanders received three picks for a club and fan-favorite. In exchange for an important piece of their top-four, the Isles received a 2018 first-round pick and two second-round picks, one in 2018 and another in 2019.

And while the Islanders technically immediately lost that trade because the Flames actually got someone who could help right away, the Isles did the right thing and were rewarded for it. While it’s too early to tell if the Islanders hit on all three picks they certainly hit on one with Noah Dobson.

The jury is still out on the other two picks, but both are up in the top portion of the Isles prospect pool. Here’s what the Islanders picked up at the draft as a result of the Hamonic deal:

  • 2018 1st: Noah Dobson (12th overall)
  • 2018 2nd: Ruslan Iskhakov (43rd overall)
  • 2019 2nd: Samuel Bolduc (57th overall)

We know that the Isles hit on Dobson. The 12th overall pick in 2018 is putting up great offensive numbers while still learning the game defensively. There’s a ton of raw talent in Dobson’s game for Barry Trotz to mold into a top-pair defenseman. At worst, Dobson is a top-four defenseman, which alone replaces what they lost in Hamonic (although much later down the road).

Samuel Bolduc and Ruslan Iskhakov

In my prospects rankings, Samuel Bolduc is already near the top in the Islanders system. Bolduc comes in at number four. The three players above him are either already in the NHL with the Islanders or on the taxi squad waiting for their opportunity.

The left-shot defenseman has only just begun his professional hockey career and he’s already catching a lot of praise from his coaches – Barry Trotz said he’s a John Carlson type while his former junior coach said he was more of a Victor Hedman type – and from fans who see his five points in seven games lead the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Ruslan Iskhakov might not be catching the same headlines due to the fact that he’s playing out in Finland, but the super talented center is having a good year as he also takes his first steps in the pro ranks.

With 27 points in 39 games for TPS, Iskhakov is playing second line minutes with Jared Kestner who not only leads the team in points but is third in the entire league. Iskhakov is ranked ninth in my prospects ranking. He could, and likely will be in North America for the 2021-22 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

It’s still not clear if Iskhakov will be able to become an NHL-caliber player, but the talented, albeit small forward, is striking the right tone with the way he’s playing in Finland.

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Losing Travis Hamonic wasn’t ideal. He was a great servant to the club on AND off the ice. But he wanted to go home and the Islanders did right by their player. They were rewarded for it.

The Isles may not have “won” in the short-term because they didn’t immediately receive NHL talent in return for Hamonic, but in the long-term, they were able to add a few more NHL-caliber players in return.

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