If there was anyone on the New York Islanders roster that could understand what Noah Dobson was going through it was fellow defender Scott Mayfield.
While the circumstances weren’t exactly identical, Mayfield had been thrown into a playoff situation at the spur of the moment back in 2015 against the Washington Capitals. On Thursday, Dobson was thrown into the lineup with Adam Pelech out with an injury.
“I’m sure he was nervous, but he had nothing to lose,” Mayfield said. “Go in there and play his game. He’s a really, really good player. … He was with us all season. He could have stepped in any game all year and been just fine. He knows that and he did well.”
The 20-year-old defender played in 12:55 of Thursday’s season-ending Game 6 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and didn’t look out of place in the lineup. Noah Dobson played well enough that Islanders coach Barry Trotz trusted him to be on the ice in the final minutes of regulation and the game tied at one.
“Dobber is going to be a big part of the future and the now I guess,” Trotz said. “We’ll be into the next season very shortly here. He’ll be a big part of it going forward.”
Dobson got his first shot at appearing in the playoffs after it was revealed that Adam Pelech would not be available for Game 6. Pelech suffered a broken wrist in Game 5, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.
Trotz confirmed that Pelech suffered an injury in Tuesday’s game and that it will need surgery.
“He got hurt real early in the last game,” Trotz said. “He played on adrenaline. Got through it and there was no way he could play. There’s going to be surgery involved.”
Noah Dobson had been with the Islanders for the entire regular season. He appeared in 34 games and registered seven points (one goal, six assists).
Coincidentally, it was an injury to Pelech that allowed him to get more playing time in the second half of the season.
The young defenseman picked up the proverbial puck and ran with it on Thursday in his latest opportunity with the Isles.
“I think Noah stepped in a very difficult situation and produced really well,” Devon Toews said. “It’s what we expect from him and he’s a great player.”