For the New York Islanders, who are on the verge of missing the playoffs after three straight years in the tournament, there haven't been too many positives. One exception to the rule is the development of Noah Dobson.
Surprisingly, it didn't start out that way. Initially it appeared that Oliver Wahlstrom was the youngster having a breakout while Noah Dobson struggled to get going. Dobson even was a healthy scratch (and deservedly so) at one point early on the year.
Now, the Isles would never dream of healthy scratching him. From December 4 through now, a 51 game sample size, Noah Dobson has 36 points (10 goals, 26 assists). He's now up to 40 points on the season and is the first Isles defenseman since NIck Leddy to put up 40 points in a season from the backend.
The Isles desperately needed Dobson to take a leap but I don't think anyone expected him to be this good, this quickly.
Yesterday, Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic updated his player cards and on those cards it indicated what a player's market value is vs what the actual salary is. The Islanders have some good ones like Brock Nelson, Zach Parise, Ryan Pulock, and Adam Pelech for example. Their best value though, just might be Noah Dobson.
According to Dom, the value of Noah Dobson's play this season is worth an $8.7 million cap hit. The value that the Islanders are getting on this kid, as he currently counts for $894,167 against the cap is just downright insane.
Dobson, as an RFA at the end of the year, is due a new contract. Will he get a bridge deal like Ryan Pulock did a couple of years ago? For context, before the 2018 season Ryan Pulock was signed to a two-year $4 million extension ($2 million AAV) before getting another two-year $10 million deal and then an eight-year $49.2 million extension.
I'm sure the Islanders would love to lock him into an eight-year deal but for Dobson that doesn't seem wise, he's only getting better. A two year deal between $3 million and $4 million a year on the cap probably seems about right. That would take Dobson until he's 24 and then at that point, the Isles would likely look to give him a bump in pay on a longer term deal.
Regardless, for the production he's given the Islanders this year, he is the best value guy on this team right now and it's not particularly close.