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New York Islanders

Noah Dobson Is Becoming The Top Defenseman The Islanders Thought He’d Be




 Elmont, NY– Despite him putting up similar numbers to the year prior, Noah Dobson drew more criticism than any other member of the New York Islanders at the end of last season.

I think that too much criticism has been of Dobson,” Islanders president of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello said in June. “Look at his point production. It’s very similar to last year…I have high expectations for him. I think he’s going to be one of your lead-scoring defensemen in this league before his career is over.”

The Islanders have always thought highly of Dobson. They wouldn’t have selected him 12th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, initially put him on their roster as a 20-year-old or signed him to a new contract extension if they didn’t.

But after he had glaring issues defensively as an individual last year, which were equally as worrisome as the ones the team showed on the power play, it was hard to believe in Dobson as much as the Islanders did.

So far this year, though, Dobson is playing the way the Islanders always thought he could.

Through six games, Dobson has put up two goals and five assists. That has him on pace for 96 points this season, which would shatter his career-high.

Although, offensive production has always been a part of Dobson’s arsenal. It’s his new-found defensive ability that has allowed him to take the next step.

“When you produce offensively, that’s kind of what you’re known for,” Dobson told NYI Hockey Now. “I want to be known as a guy who can be solid defensively and play against other teams’ top players in defensive situations as well. As a young guy, I came in as a true offensive-defenseman from juniors. There’s been a lot of development to grow into that complete two-way game.”

Dobson showed how far he’s come in the Islanders’ win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. He scored the winning goal, but the stat that truly exhibited Dobson’s progression was his new career-high of 27:42 of ice time, which he put together in all phases of the game.

“He’s just more and more assertive in his defensive zone,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “He’s gaining that level of confidence where he feels he’s able to separate guys from the puck. As a result, he’s confident when he has the puck on his stick. He’s playing some high minutes, there’s no question. He’s doing a really good job.”

Dobson is averaging an extra four minutes of ice time this season compared to his career. Only time will tell what those extra minutes will help Dobson achieve.

He hopes it earns him consideration as one of the league’s best defensemen, just as the Islanders always thought he’d be.

“If you look around the league, all the top defensemen are putting up 70, 80, 90 points a season, but you’re not even calling them a true offensive-defenseman,” Dobson said. “There’s not enough room just to be good in one end of the rink and not be good in the other. It’s important for all defensemen.”




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