The fan votes for the final 12 selections of NHL All-Star weekend have been finalized, and NY Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson was not among the names heading to Toronto.
Amid a breakout season, the 24-year-old is over a point-per-game pace with 43 in 42 games, appearing to be on the cusp of Norris Trophy consideration.
Two defensemen were added to the roster as part of the fan vote - Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche and Morgan Reilly of the hosting Toronto Maple Leafs. Makar is arguably the best defenseman in the NHL, meriting the spot. The only reason he wasn't selected as the Avs' first representative is because of the MVP-like season Nathan MacKinnon is having himself. Reilly, however, is having a formidable season with 33 points at the halfway mark but is nowhere near the level of Dobson to this point.
This year's fan vote alludes to the flaws in the system as the rabid Canadian fanbases were out in full force, with seven of the 12 selectees playing for either the Leafs or the Canucks.
Though Dobson deserves the chance to participate in his first NHL All-Star game, the snub may be a blessing in disguise for him and the Islanders.
With the injuries accumulated on the Islanders' blue line this season, Dobson has been called on more than any other Islander to fill the void. Averaging 25:50 per game, Dobber has been the first choice off the bench for Lane Lambert regardless of the situation.
It doesn't appear as if the extra minutes are hindering Dobson's performance in any way, but it's a long season and a breather could do him well over the long haul. The Islanders have eight days between games over the All-Star break, allowing Dobson and the rest of the team (aside from Mat Barzal), mental and physical relaxation.
In an extremely competitive Metropolitan Division where seven teams are separated by just eight points, the Islanders need all hands on deck if they're to push for playoff position. While seeing Dobson donning the All-Star sweater for the first time would be a fantastic sight, it may pay dividends down the line that he's not.