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Islanders: Noah Dobson still on NHL’s COVID protocol list

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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Noah Dobson was a late addition to the NHL’s COVID protocol list on Sunday. And by late I really mean late. The New York Islanders defenseman was out taking warmups when he was yanked from the ice to sit out.

He missed that game against the Devils and now he’ll miss today’s game against the Washington Capitals.

In his place steps Sebastian Aho. The Isles fifth-round pick from 2017, has been on the taxi squad all year just waiting for his chance to make the lineup. As he told the assembled media on Sunday, he hasn’t played an actual hockey game in a full year.

New York Islanders Noah Dobson still out

Why he’s still out of the lineup is anyone’s guess really. Sure, we know it’s COVID related, but what makes his absence COVID related is still unclear.

It’s possible that Dobson tested positive. If so he could be out for a while still. It’s also possible that Dobson’s positive is a false-positive. Once a positive test is detected, players need to complete a confirmatory on the same sample. That test is usually returned within 24 hours.

That confirmatory test could still be negative but, it’s likely that due to how late Dobson was pulled, the results of that confirmatory test didn’t come back in time for puck drop.

Again, we don’t know why Dobson is out so this is speculation based on the NHL’s COVID protocols.

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Sebastian Aho has been a good inclusion in Dobson’s absence. The 2017 draftee already has a point to his name this season with an assist on Kieffer Bellows‘s third goal of the year. The 25-year-old defenseman has been waiting for his chance to make the team, hopefully, the young man can seize the opportunity while Donson is out.

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