Fresh off his incredible performance at the World Junior Summer Showcase, Noah Dobson has now signed his first professional contract. The New York Islanders today announced a three-year entry-level contract for Dobson, which could still slide forward if he is sent back to the QMJHL for this season.
That doesn’t seem guaranteed at this point simply because of the Islanders’ lack of depth on defense, though it has hisorically been quite rare for a pick outside the top-10 to jump right to the NHL a few months after being drafted. Dobson, the 12th-overall pick in June, also won the Memorial Cup this past season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and could easily be in the running for CHL Defenseman of the Year if he returns. His 69 points in 67 games already put him second in QMJHL scoring among defensemen last season, and his offense isn’t even really his calling card. For Dobson it is his all-around defensive ability that turns so many heads, given that a polished game at that end of the rink is so rarely seen in young players. There’s little that Dobson can’t do on the ice, and his game should translate well to the NHL when he’s finally given that chance.
Along with Oliver Wahlstrom, Bode Wilde and Ruslan Iskhakov, Dobson is part of an outstanding draft class for the Islanders that could help them fill in the talent gaps left by John Tavares signing with Toronto this summer. While the team will build around Mathew Barzal as their next superstar and face of the franchise, the 2018 draft will be expected to play big roles very quickly. Dobson will get a chance to impress at the Islanders’ upcoming training camp, but will be a lock for the Canadian World Junior team if he’s sent back to the CHL.