Islanders ink Dobson to three-year deal
Coveted first-round defenseman agrees to entry-level contract
The Islanders’ two-way defenseman of the future has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the franchise.
Noah Dobson, one of two first-round picks by the Brooklyn-based franchise in June’s NHL Draft in Dallas, agreed to terms with the Isles and is now eager to earn a job on the Opening Night roster during training camp.
“I want to get stronger this summer and come into camp and be able to compete against men and give [the organization] a hard decision not to send me back to juniors,” the 18-year-old Canadian blueliner told Newsday during the team’s prospect development camp on Long Island nearly two months ago.
Dobson, who was picked 12th overall and just behind fellow first-round right-winger Oliver Wahlstrom, certainly has a strong resume on the junior level.
He accumulated 95 points (24 goals and 71 assists) in 130 career games in juniors, helping Acadie-Bathurst win its first-ever Memorial Cup title earlier this year.
Dobson was also named to both the QMJHL and CHL All-Star teams just a few weeks shy of donning the Orange and Blue on draft night.
“The defenseman from Quebec, Dobson, has so much upside as far as skill and offense. I don’t think we could be more delighted,” gushed normally reserved Isles team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello after Dobson fell into his lap on draft night.
“He’s a really heady defenseman,” Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson, who was running the daily skates in June, added of Dobson. “He asks some really good questions out there and made good points. His feet are good, big body.”
At 6-foot-3 and approximately 180 pounds, Dobson may have to bulk up a bit to go blow for blow with the NHL’s top forwards and defenseman. But his determination to make the club out of training camp and jump into his first professional campaign with both skates speaks loudly of his self-awareness and confidence.
Wahlstrom has already decided against attending Isles’ camp after opting into his first season at Boston College.
But both teenage first-rounders participated in the World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, British Columbia, hoping to earn spots on their respective 2019 national squads that will vie for an international junior title in December.
“It’s pretty crazy to think about how much I was able to go through and accomplish in a month,” Dobson noted during mini-camp.
“At the end of the day it’s what you dream of as a kid and any hockey player would love to be in my shoes, so I’m just trying to soak it all in and enjoy the experience.”
With training camp slated to kick off in a few weeks and the exhibition slate beginning Sept. 16 at the renovated Nassau Coliseum, Dobson will have plenty of opportunities to impress new head coach Barry Trotz and Lamoriello.
The Isles had the worst goals-against and shots-against averages in the entire league last season, something Dobson may play a hand in helping to reverse going forward.
Whether he makes the team out of camp or not, Dobson is already a key part of the future for a franchise that is desperate to return to its former glory, be it here in Downtown Brooklyn, in Uniondale, N.Y., or at its soon-to-be new home in Elmont, N.Y.
Isle Have Another: The Islanders lone scheduled national television game this coming season will be on Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Coliseum.
In other local sports news, the playoff-hopeful Cyclones entered their annual All-Star Break off a rousing 3-1, extra-inning victory over Lowell on Sunday at Coney Island’s MCU Park.
Brooklyn starter and NY-Penn All-Star selection Jaison Vilera bounced back from his worst outing of an otherwise stellar campaign by tossing five scoreless innings and Jose Miguel Medin
With its fourth consecutive win, Brooklyn moved within three games of first-place Hudson Valley in the McNamara Division race and just a half-length behind Auburn for the 14-team circuit’s lone wild-card spot.a went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as the Cyclones moved closer to a postseason spot.
Vilera, who had yielded a season-high four runs during one of three straight crushing losses for the Baby Bums on Aug. 5, didn’t strike out any Spinners, but did not yield an earned run for the fifth time in his last six starts.
The 21-year-old Venezuelan staff ace lowered his ERA to 1.30, furthering his case for NY-Penn Pitcher of the Year honors as well as the Mets’ Sterling Award, given annually to the player that shines the most at each minor league level.
Following their brief hiatus, the Cyclones will return to action Wednesday at MCU Park, when they host Vermont for the opener of a two-game set.Vilera, who copped the Sterling for his performance at Rookie-level Kingsport last season, was one of six Cyclones selected to compete in Tuesday night’s late-summer classic at State College’s Lubrano Park.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment