Noah Dobson will have plenty of expectations on him when the 2020-21 season begins in 12 days.
The 20-year-old defenseman will be taking the place of the departed Devon Toews, who was dealt in October to the Colorado Avalanche. At the time, New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters that he wouldn’t have made the deal with Colorado if he wasn’t confident Dobson could step up in Toews’ place.
Lamoriello doubled down on that confidence on Thursday during his pre-training camp media availability.
“We have certainly high hopes for him, but he has high hopes for himself,” Lamoriello said about Dobson. “He’s a tremendously talented young man who has something you can’t teach, and that’s hockey sense. We’ll just have to wait and see how things go and how the grind of every night affects him. He’s prepared for it and he’s ready for it.
“We feel that he should be a regular player in the lineup and a difference player.”
Head coach Barry Trotz likely won’t throw Noah Dobson into the fire right off the bat. Dobson was limited to 12:55 during his lone appearance in the Islanders’ playoff run last summer.
Dobson was also a regular in the lineup following the injury to Adam Pelech in January. He appeared in 34 games in Pelech’s place and averaged 13:17 of ice time.
Lamoriello said on Thursday that the organization felt that Dobson benefited a lot from his time with the team and working with the veteran players during the regular season and in the playoff bubble.
“what helped him tremendously, in my opinion, was being in the bubble and working every day,” Lamoriello said. “Players took a day off here or there and (Dobson) could be in a full practice 100 percent. I thought he left on a great note getting in and playing the way he did in the last game that he played.”
The other benefit that Noah Dobson will have is being able to learn from the likes of Andy Greene. Lamoriello confirmed during Thursday’s call that Greene, along with Matt Martin and Cory Schneider, had agreed to terms on a new deal and would be at training camp on Sunday.
Greene worked with Dobson during summer camp prior to the start of the playoffs and the two will likely be paired with one another for the start of the new season.