NY Islanders 2023-24 Report Card: Noah Dobson Took His Game To A New Level This Season

Noah Dobson received Norris Trophy consideration for his performance on the ice in 2023-24 for the NY Islanders.
Noah Dobson received Norris Trophy consideration for his performance on the ice in 2023-24 for the NY Islanders. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As the NY Islanders entered the 2023-24 NHL season, they were relying on their core talent to lead the team to the postseason. Noah Dobson, coming off seasons of 51 and 49 points, was a player that had immense upside. At only 23 years old, the former first-round draft pick had yet to fully hit his stride.

However, this season, Dobson became the first Isles defenseman since Denis Potvin to score 70 points in a season, earning Norris Trophy consideration for the first time in his career. In addition to the offensive breakout, Dobson also took on more responsibility in his own zone, with more defensive zone starts this season than ever before. Dobson's 24:31 average time-on-ice was more than three minutes longer than his previous career high.

*Read our previously Published player report cards: Sebastian Aho | Mat Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck

NY Islanders 2023-24 Report Card: Noah Dobson

Dobson got off to a hot start, with 9 points in 8 games in October 2023. At the end of February, Dobson had 61 points in 59 games; however, in 20 games through March and April, Dobson only had 9 points. Additionally, and more concerning, Dobson was invisible in the playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, with a mere Game 4 assist counting as his only point in the entire series. This is the second straight season in which Dobson faded in the end and failed to make an impact in the postseason.

There is no question that Dobson will receive a passing grade for his season; that much is an understatement. As a right-shot defenseman with size and the ability to both skate the puck out of trouble and make the right first pass, Dobson has developed into a legitimate top-pairing two-way defenseman.

Dobson's contract status is one of the biggest questions hanging over the offseason. With one more year left on his current contract, Dobson will be an RFA with arbitration rights next year, with the ability to accept a qualifying offer and become a UFA on July 1, 2026. That scenario would leave the Islanders with only two seasons of control left over Dobson, so a long-term extension is an option for the Islanders this summer.

Jesper Bratt, Noah Dobson
Noah Dobson played a better defensive and physical game for the NY Islanders this season. / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

But as for this past season, it was an undeniable success for Dobson. His offensive breakout occurred, and his defensive game rose to another level. However, Dobson failed to achieve the coveted "A+," because, for the second consecutive season, he faded at the end and was a no-show in the postseason.

The Islanders desperately need Dobson's best in the postseason, so finding ways to get that out of him will be a priority for Patrick Roy next season and beyond. But in the big picture, as long as Dobson is playing 24 minutes a night and scoring 70 points per season, the Islanders will be more than happy he is on their side.

Final Grade: A