This piece will be another in my series of player profiles, where I’ll give some thoughts on the performance of a member of the New York Islanders this season. This article will focus on Noah Dobson.
Dobson spent more time in the press box this year than I thought he would and after Adam Pelech went down with an injury, it became clear that the Islanders didn’t have a ton of trust in Dobson, as they went out to acquire Andy Greene at the trade deadline. Dobson finished the year with one goal and seven points in 34 games which may have been lower numbers than many would have projected for the star prospect (though he was averaging just 13:17 per game when he did play).
Let me be clear: I don’t think Dobson had a poor season. I think he was actually fine for the most part and could be very impressive in flashes, especially factoring in his age. He’s already fairly patient with the puck in the offensive zone and can find players with some great passes. He’ll likely become a key part of the power play down the line and he even got some chances on the man advantage this year. He just needs to continue to round out his game and work a bit more on defensive zone reliability. He also had a bit of an issue in terms of getting bumped off the puck easily in battles but that should come with time as he gets stronger.
Next season, I think the expectation for Dobson should be for him to become a full-time NHL defenseman and to continue working on his defensive game. So far, Dobson has already shown his potential and it’s clear that he’ll become a key part of New York’s back end down the line, it's just a question of how soon.
I also wanted to try something out. From now on, in each post I'm going to add in a poll. I'd love to hear everyone's opinions and I'll try to discuss the results in a weekly post. Here's the first question:
How would you rate Noah Dobson's first NHL season?