Year two in the NHL was a bit strange for Noah Dobson. People were expecting a year two leap for Noah on the Islanders, and it kind of happened, just not to the extent that some of us thought it would in 2021.
After averaging just 13:17 in ice time per night as a rookie, that number jumped up to 16:24. That’s a big increase from one year to the next, but still, 16:24 was still the least by a pretty good chunk of the Islanders’ regular defensemen.
Andy Greene, his partner, was the next closes at 17:35. So by all accounts, this was the Islanders’ third pair by a long shot, it was the Pelech – Pulock pair and Leddy – Mayfield pair in the same vicinity in terms of ice time and then a massive drop-off to the third pair.
Dobson ended up finishing the regular season with 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) with five assists coming on the power play. He finished third on the team in power play time for defensemen this past year and with Nick Leddy out, that number should only increase.
To Dobson’s credit, he was productive in the playoffs putting up seven assists in 19 games getting only 13:55 of ice time per game. He was playing very sheltered minutes for New York come playoff time again last year.
2021-2022 Noah Dobson Predictions
It’s difficult to predict what Dobson will do this year because we have no idea what kind of ice time he will get and who he will be playing with. It appears like there is still a gaping hole where the second pair lefty is supposed to be and it kind of depends what player goes there for Dobson’s role.
For instance, if it’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman then Dobson likely moves up to second pair duties with Mayfield moving to pair three. If it’s more of an offensive-minded player, like what Leddy was, then it’ll probably be Mayfield again on the second pair and Andy Greene and Noah Dobson on pair three.
With what’s available, I’m going to guess that it’s more of a defensive-minded player and Noah Dobson ends up getting second pair minutes. Now, I don’t think it hits the 20 mark yet but we could see that number getting to roughly 18:30.
The reason, he will need to be a puck mover on the power play. He’s the best fit for that role, so Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello may need to suck it up and let the kid take his lumps at times.
As for production, I’ll put him at a respectable 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists). Those numbers aren’t great, and I do think his ceiling is higher than that, but I’m not fully sold on the full buy-in and putting him at 30+ points from the blue line.
I hope that I’m wrong and he’s immediate offense in his bigger role, I’m just going to go on the more conservative side with him until proven otherwise.