The New York Islanders haven’t made any changes to its defense which was ranked first in the NHL as the team allowed just 2.33 goals per game. However, despite that success, the Islanders could add a key player to their defense as 2018 first-round pick Noah Dobson might just be ready to join the Islanders, according to Newsday’s Andrew Gross.
The 19-year-old almost broke camp with New York in training camp a year ago, but eventually was sent back to his junior team, Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL. He struggled out of the gate there, but was eventually traded to Rouyn-Noranda, one of the top teams in the league, where his numbers took off, scoring six goals and 36 points in 28 games. He now feels ready to take the challenge of playing for the Islanders.
“I thought I had a really good last two years in junior and that put me in a good position,” Dobson said. “Now, I’ve got to go and try and earn a spot. But I’m definitely confident in my abilities and I feel like I can make the jump this year if I have a really good camp. But it’s going to be on me to try and make a hard decision on management.”
While Dobson would likely benefit from a year in the AHL, the prospect isn’t eligible to play there as he either must make the New York squad or be returned to Rouyn-Noranda for another season in juniors.
- While much of the attention in training camp will fall on the Philadelphia Flyers top three prospects, Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee and Isaac Ratcliffe, another Flyers’ prospect is already making an impact on the ice in German Rubtsov, who is hoping to win the third-line right-wing job, according to Sam Carchidi of Philly. com. The 21-year-old has flown under the radar despite being the 21st overall pick back in 2016. He joined the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and got off to a hot start, scoring six goals and 10 points in the first 16 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury ended his season prematurely. Originally drafted as a center, Rubtsov said he’s 100 percent healthy and is more than capable of switching over to the wing as he did play wing when he played in the KHL several years ago.
- In his first game in a Devils uniform on Saturday against players not in a Devils’ uniform, The Athletic’s Corey Masisak (subscription required) breaks down New Jersey Devils future star Jack Hughes play shift-by-shift. The scribe writes that the 2019 first-overall pick possessed a tremendous amount of energy and was talking constantly throughout the contest, although the 18-year-old did mention the game was more physical than he thought. “I think it’s a lot more physical,” Hughes said. “Not even because it’s the NHL, but because it’s a rookie camp. It’s a really physical tournament, and a lot of guys are trying to prove (themselves). You’ve got to watch out a little bit more, but it was definitely fast, a fast style of game.”