There's not much debate that Noah Dobson has been the most valuable player for the NY Islanders through the first month of the season. Leading the team in points with 11, Dobson has climbed to second place on the Islanders' list for most goals scored by a defenseman before their 24th birthday.
Opening the scoring for the Isles at the 11:00 mark of the first period, nodding the game at one, Dobson's blast off a Casey Cizikas pass moved him past Tomas Jonsson with his 34th goal before turning 24. Born on Jan. 7, 2000, Dobson won't make it to the top spot on this list, as Islanders legend Denis Potvin racked up 95 goals before turning 24.
"Great forecheck by Clutter and I think Marty and Zeeker," said Dobson regarding how his goal last night developed. "Zeeker made a great play. I just tried to find a soft area and put it right in my wheelhouse. Tried to let one go and [it was] good shot, fortunate for it to go in."
Dobson looks to be in the midst of a breakout season, ranking sixth in the NHL in points among all defensemen.
Finishing with 51 points in the 2020-21 season, there was belief last season would become Dobson's breakout. He struggled to improve his previous season's production, finishing with 49 points. Scoring 13 goals in each of the last two seasons, Dobson has already found the back of the net four times this campaign.
Aside from his emergence on the offensive end of the ice, Dobson has shown steady improvement on the defensive end as well. Last night was the first game the Islanders had their full complement of defensemen since the team's home opener. In the absence of Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech, Dobson has seen more time at even strength while earning a more extensive role on the penalty kill.