The New York Islanders announced on Monday that they have signed defenseman Noah Dobson to a three-year entry-level contract.
Selected 12th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old is expected to become an important piece of the Islanders’ future blue line that could one day also feature the likes of Devon Toews and Mitch Vande Sompel.
Dobson starred for Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he recorded 17 goals and a team-high 52 assists before playing a central role in helping his team win its first-ever Memorial Cup title.
In the postseason, he posted three goals and 10 assists in 20 games on his way to QMJHL and CHL All-Star honors.
What can the Islanders expect from Noah Dobson?
It has become clear early on that Dobson has the skills to quarterback a power play from the blue line. A heavy shot coupled with smooth skating abilities holds the promise of him developing into a talented two-way defenseman in the NHL.
While he holds plenty of size at 6-foot-3, 176 pounds, he will have more maturing and strengthening to do before making the jump to the Islanders where the biggest knock to his game centers around his closing speed on puck handlers.
Dobson is expected to attend Islanders training camp but still has the option to return to Acadie-Bathurst, which is the most likely move at least for this season.
Regardless, his acquisition was an important one for the Islanders. Last season saw New York possess the league’s worst defense, allowing 296 goals, though injury issues with Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan and Ryan Pulock didn’t help the blue line.
The Islanders though have lost de Haan to free agency as he signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and have not made any major additions this year as of yet, though Toews is expected to make the jump to the NHL this year.