While the Isles sit at 21-23-8 and nearly 20 points out of a playoff spot, it has been difficult to find bright spots in this campaign. The Islanders have rediscovered playoff success in the last several seasons, so seeing this team falter this way has made for a disappointing year in New York.
However, as in all bad situations, there are silver linings, and for the Islanders, defenseman Noah Dobson has been an obvious one. The 22-year-old blueliner is in his third season in the NHL, and he is proving to be the type of player that this team will want to have around for a long time.
He has played in 50 games this season, which breaks his previous high-water mark of 46, which he set a year ago. Dobson has also set personal bests in goals (10), assists (18), and points (28). On the year, he is a plus-two, he’s contributed nine points on the power play, and he’s scored three game-winning goals.
Dobson is enjoying a breakout season for the Islanders.
What really caught my eye while checking in on the Isles is that Dobson is the third-leading scorer for the team this season. The Islanders have made a living on defense for years, but their weakness has always been an inability to score.
Sure, that might be part of the reason that Dobson finds himself in third on the list, but I think it’s impressive that, despite his club’s 30th ranked offense (2.5 goals per game), he has been able to be a steady presence on the scoresheet.
His 10 goals are tied for sixth in the NHL among defensemen, further exemplifying his impressive solo performance this year. He has also managed to earn the second-highest ice time of any Islanders skater (21:08).
Dobson has been especially strong since late January, recording at least one point in 12 of his last 18 games. He has 14 points (five goals and nine assists) over that stretch of games.
The young Canadian has a lot going for him, as he was New York’s first-round pick (12th overall) in 2018. In addition, he comes in at 6’4″ and 195 lbs, and his significant size will undoubtedly be a great asset to him.
He is in the final year of his contract, so he will become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season. Surely, he will be a priority for an Islanders team that has the majority of its core players already under contract.
Nothing has come easy for the Islanders this season, but watching Dobson enjoy a breakout season is an overwhelming positive for New York.