From a healthy scratch to the number one righty. That's been the life of Noah Dobson over the last 72 hours or so.
Against Tampa, Dobson was sidelined as a healthy scratch due to "inconsistencies" in his play. The 12th overall pick in 2018 hasn't really stepped up this season. He's been 'alright' but there is a lot left to be desired in his play this year.
Now with Ryan Pulock out, Dobson will be given the team's top right-handed spot on the blueline (at least in terms of TOI). He's averaging 15:31 of 5on5 time right now, that's sixth of seven defensemen. Pulock was second with 17:43 of 5on5 time per game (only Aho had more). That will go up now.
His power play time might not change much. He's already averaging 2:19 of power play time this year. Only Aho has more at 2:29.
(On Aho. He's only played two games and in his second game Ryan Pulock wasn't there and Mayfield got ejected at the start of the second period. Consider his ice time a bit skewed. It wouldn't normally be that high.)
Dobson has a big opportunity in front of him to show Barry Trotz that he can be a dependable top four defenseman now and going forward. He'll have to be strong in front of his net and smarter with the puck. Which is easier said than done.
With more minutes will come tougher opponents that will be up to the physical challenge in front of the net and will try to pressure the young man into mistakes. So again, easier said than done. But the challenge is not in front of Dobson it's up to him to rise up to it now.