Isles Hot Seat: Player Report Card: Noah Dobson
This is a tricky one.
It’s hard to grade a rookie defensemen that only 34 games their rookie year, there's not much to base their season off of. But we’ll do the best we can. The 2018 12th overall pick was a surprise pick to make the roster out of camp last season. Many expected him to be sent back on loan before his nine games had been played. But, Barry Trotz and Co. allowed him to suit up for 25 games past the nine-game window, showing their support and faith in the young defensemen. He had a very quick start to the season, tallying his first career point with an assist versus the Edmonton Oilers on October 8th. From there he stayed fairly quiet for a lengthy period. He would eventually be credited his first NHL goal on John Tonelli night versus the Detroit Red Wings in an 8-2 win, a puck that he never shot, he just happened to be the last one to touch the puck. He would not play more than one game in the NHL playoffs as well, not recording a single point. Seeing the contracts of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk getting ready to expire in a few years is good news for Dobson, as Boychuk may very well retire, and most expect Leddy to be traded any day now, a full-time roster spot could be opening for him pretty soon. Keeping a veteran defenseman around such as Andy Greene would be huge in the development process of Dobson. Although this grade may come off harsh, I would fully expect to be able to give him a much higher grade after next season.