Noah Dobson vs. Buffalo Apr 23
By puck drop vs. Buffalo on April 23, Dobson already had eleven goals and 45 points to his name on the year. Even if he didn't hit 50 points it was an impressive showing from the kid.
But what the Islanders had been missing on the year, is a defenseman that can headman the puck up the ice from the D-zone into the O-zone. To have the confidence in his abilities to push the play, solo, up the ide. And, if he had to, finish the play. Or at least try.
And then Dobson did the thing on April 23.
Dobson, seeing an opening through the neutral zone skates the lane and accepts the pass at his own defensive blueline. With no real pressure from the Sabres defense, partly due to Dobson's speed, the Isles d-man decides to cut into the slot and stuffs it over the keeper for goal 12 on the year.
We haven't seen rushes like that since Nick Leddy skated on the Island. That's the type of skillset the Islanders needed to replace with back-to-back years of losing Devon Toews and the aforementioned Nick Leddy. Maybe the plan was that Dobson would fill that void on day one. Unfortunately, he didn't really start doing so till the latter half of the year.
The goal was a hell of a move from Dobson, who took a big step up this season. Adding this type of play to his game is something the Isles were missing from day one during the year. Hopefully, 2022-23 is the year he takes away as the premier puck-carrier for this team. Because as it stands now, they're going to need it.