NY Islanders News

NY Islanders Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom, Great Signs for Now and the Future

By Christopher Lizza
Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The New York Islanders have had some ups and down through the first four games of the season. However, two of the ups have been the play of Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom.

Both Dobson and Wahlsgrom must play at a high level this year if the Isles are going to be a contender in the Eastern Conference. But maybe more importantly for the Isles to be a top-tier squad for the next few seasons they will need a lot from both Dobson and Wahlstrom.

Noah Dobson

Through the first week of the Islanders season, Lane Lambert and Lou Lamoriello have to be happy with what they see from Dobson and Wahlstrom.

Dobson so far has two goals, and four points and is a plus-one through the first four games. The 22-year-old has registered at least one point in three of the Isles' first four games. Dobson's play is dynamic and let's keep in mind he has just started playing with Alexander Romanov. As the season moves along, expect that duo to gel even more.

Dobson's teammates think an awful lot of him as well. When Ryan Pulock was asked if Dobson could join Dennis Potvin in Islander history as having 60 points in a season, he said “I don’t see why not, I don’t think he needs to get to that number. Anywhere near there is a heck of a year. He’s got it in him. His offensive ability, his instincts, his skillset… it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Oliver Wahlstrom

After missing the first game of the season, Wahlstrom has started with a flourish. He has put up three goals, and four points with a plus-three rating in his first three games.

As everyone knows Wahlstrom has an electric shot and offensive ability. It's rounding out the finer edges of his game which he has shown is an improvement so far this season. If that continues Wahlstrom is going to be a big-time player for the blue and orange this season and for years to come.

The Future

The Isles are going to need both 22-year-old guys in Dobson and Wahlstrom to be big-time players for years to come. Dobson as that first-pairing blue liner who is a two-way high offensive player and Wahlstrom as that big-time goal scorer who is solid defensively.

Keep in mind Scott Mayfield is now 30 and with him being an unrestricted free agent at season's end he could be elsewhere starting next season. In a couple of years, both Adam Pelech and Pulock will hit 30 and there will be more of a need for Dobson to be that first-pairing defenseman for the Isles.

Everyone knows the Isles need to improve their scoring. Granted they are not going to be last year's Florida Panthers in terms of goals per game but they do need more offense so they are on the right side of these one-goal games. Wahlstrom could be a huge part of that winning formula.

Keep in mind the Isles have five forwards who become UFA's over the next two seasons with four of them in their 30s. The Isles are going to need Wahlstrom to become a top forward if they are going to be a contending team over the next few seasons.

Both Dobson and Wahlstrom were Lamoriello's first two Draft picks as Islanders' General Manager - President back in 2018. If the Isles are going to be a top team for years to come, they need to become part of the Islander foundation along with Mathew Barzal and Ilya Sorokin.

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