The New York Islanders are facing a tricky decision as they enter training camp and it all revolves around stellar prospect Noah Dobson.
Noah Dobson is a 19-year-old wunderkind defenseman who the New York Islanders hold in high regard. The 6-foot-4 defense prospect is entering training camp with hopes of securing a spot on the final roster.
“I feel like I can play at this level,” Dobson said, via Andrew Gross of Newsday. “At the end of the day, it’s not going to be my decision. All I can do is try to make it a tough decision.”
Unfortunately, the Islanders must decide to keep him on the NHL roster or send him back to juniors in Canada. Due to an eligibility rule in the collective bargaining, Dobson is not eligible to play in the AHL this season.
Head coach Barry Trotz and team president Lou Lamoriello are going to look at Dobson through a different lens in training camp than they would most players. They must weigh the pros and cons of keeping Dobson in New York against sending him back to juniors for more seasoning.
“I think you’ve got to look at him a little different,” Trotz said. “Any decision on Noah will be with a total organization eye on that. He’s a really good player, no question. …”
“Another year in junior is probably not going to help him a whole lot,” Trotz added. “You lose pace. You rely on your natural ability and you don’t keep progressing. That will be taken into consideration.”
It’s a tough call for Trotz and Lamoriello. They could save that roster spot for a more experienced player better equipped for the rigors of an 82-game season. On the other hand, the Isles may want to bring the prized prospect on so they can monitor and support his development up close.
The Canadian native was drafted 12th overall by the Islanders in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.