2018 NHL Draft Profile: Noah Dobson

noah dobson

Check out our other reviews: Oliver WahlstromQuinn HughesBrady Tkachuk, Adam Boqvist.

Draft Week continues here at BSB, and next up is Noah Dobson. Dobson, a right handed defenseman, put up a monster sophomore season in the QMJHL, with a line of 17-52-69 in 67 games. He also put up 2-10-12 in 18 playoff games. The 6’3″, 180 lb kid is another top-ten pick in this year’s draft.

Dobson is interesting, because of all the guys profiled so far, he’s both the most likely to fall to ninth overall and the most likely to be drafted above his draft slot. You’d think those two are mutually exclusive concepts, but the more I look at it, the more it makes sense in my own crazy mind.

Dobson is an old school scout’s dream, much like Tkachuk. He’s a big body who will only grow into that 6’3″ frame. He’s extremely mobile for a kid his size, skates well, has solid agility and is calm and controlled in all three zones. He has great offensive numbers, but is also a solid defender. Of all the top defenseman not named Dahlin, he appears to be the best “defender” of the bunch.

His one-on-one play is superb, he uses his size well to push guys off the puck, but has the speed and agility to stay with the faster players. Like Tkachuk, he is deceptively quick for a player his size.

Dobson has great vision and is a very accurate passer. He keeps the game simple, preferring to defer to his forwards once he’s able to break through the first forecheckers. He doesn’t disappear in that regard –his point totals should tell you that– as he prefers to find open ice for offensive chances. If he can tee up his shot, watch out.

Like most kids his age, Dobson’s strength needs improving. He’s not NHL ready, but only three guys in this draft are perceived as NHL ready. Also like most defense prospects, his game needs to continue to evolve to make and stick in the NHL.

Dobson projects to be a top pairing defenseman playing in all situations. That projection shouldn’t shock anyone, as this draft –at least the top ten– is loaded with potential top pairing defensemen. I differ from lots of folks around these parts, as I actually like Dobson over some of the other defensemen in the draft. If Hughes or Wahlstrom aren’t available, I’d want Dobson.

"2018 NHL Draft Profile: Noah Dobson", 5 out of 5 based on 15 ratings.
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  1. He would be the guy I target if/when all of the real top players go as predicted 1-8. This is where, if you decide not to make a major trade move, you stay at 9 and take him if you think he will be there.

    Article in the NY Post today about NYR and possible outlook. If they indeed are putting a value on every player, that tells me they are poised to move assets and re-stock. Would not be shocked if they grab additional second round picks to really build an AHL team that can act as a feeder in the years to come.

    1. Larry wasn’t saying that they are, but that they should. It sounds like a couple of guys have something close to a WAR model, but I still don’t know how they would quantify D.

      Dobson hasn’t really spent time in the gym, so when he does the weight will pile on quick. A great skater who looks like he’s skating at 3/4 speed most of the side, then against talent he hits the switch.

  2. Dobson is a heck of a prospect and I have read recently that he could very well be the 2nd defenseman drafted.

  3. To me, the key drafting positions start at the 6th or 7th pick.
    I will assume that Dahlin, Bouchard and Bovqvist are 3 defensemen that will go before we draft. Also will assume as forwards, Svetchnivov, Zedina, Wahlstrom and Tkakchuk will go as forwards before us. If one of these if still standing at 7, we need to trade up as these guys are the cream of the crop. If these all go as predicted (and it never does) we need to choose between the next top 3 forwards or next top 3 defenseman.

    On defense, I would say Hughes, Dobson and Ty Smith. As for forwards, the waters are very murky. Take your pick between Veleno, Haighton, Farabee, and Kupari. A few others may sneak in there as well. The NYR need to decide the value of the top guys over this second tier of players. Would we move a player and the 9th pick for the 6th pick? It all comes down to who they target, how they value players (their own and the prospects) and who may want to dance with us come draft day.

    1. Additionally, remember that Detroit, Vancouver and Chicago currently have CAP issues. Not sure how they will handle their UFAs and RFAs, but these teams need young, cheap players but also may want to offload a good player (read overpaid) to give them some head room. This is where our plethora of early picks may enable us to cut some deals.

      1. Vancouver has no cap issues with $17mm coming off the books, Chicago has the Hossa LTIR cushion and are just sorta stuck, Detroit has $8mm coming off the books and another $4mm in LTIR credits.

        1. Vancouver has RFA’s they need to address, 4 to be exact. They will eat up at least $13M if they choose to resign them.

          Detroit does clear space, but with RFA’s Athanasiou and Larken, they have to figure out where they can spend and what they have to move.

          Chicago has a little wiggle room, with no RFA’s worth re-signing

          1. Those 4 RFAs would be lucky to get $9mm between them: when the D will get qualified and that’s it, Baertschi would be looking at $3.5mm and Virtanen not even that.

          2. Baertschi is definitely going to get over 4 million. I’d agree on Virtanen– I don’t see them throwing any more than about $3.5-3.75 mm his way.

          3. Never played a full season, projects to be a 45 point scorer. No way he gets $4mm from an arbiter.

          4. As for Virtanen getting $3.5mm, that’s laughable.

            He’s not even putting up Jesper Fast numbers, but as an RFA without arb rights he’s going to make almost double than Fast?


  4. I think realistically he will be the one available at 9 and a very good pick. Mind you drafting Dobson you’re not getting the elite that we need for our forwards but he solidifies the defense
    Shattenkirik, Dobson, DeAngelo and Pionk with possibly Lundkvist and Sproul gives the Rangers Depth at right D

    Left D is set with Skjei, Smith, Lindgren, Staal, Day Crawley, Hajak, Rykov, Pedrie and Bigras

    If we do trade into the 1st and add Wilde too….

    1. Stay away from Wilde. Problems everywhere. We need to be looking at more high-ceiling players. Devon McAvoy comes to mind.

      1. Who is this McAvoy you write of, is he the son of that 5’10” goalie who was 5’ wide?

        1. No, no relation. RW/C out of Hallebuck, ON. He’s one of those fly-under-the-radar type guys but his potential is sky high. Whoever picks him up this year is going to be getting an absolute gamer.

  5. If he is available when we pick he’s a slam dunk. He has all the things we need; size, speed, skill and high ceiling. I would take Walhstrom over Dobson, but I would take Dobson over Hughes.

  6. Defense in this draft looks very good – the development of these rooks in the next coming years after the draft plays a ways. With the forwards, man, that is really hit or miss, especially after 8 or 9 – in past years if teams had to re-draft, you’d see a lot of movement between 10-28 if they had to do it over. I think this year may be similar. There are some “mid-teen” forwards that I would not mind having, either.

  7. ideally Wahlstrom (trade) Wilde, 26 and 29-31
    Consolation Dobson (trade) Kotkeniemi or Hayton 26 and 29-31 still a happy camper
    realistically Dobson, 26 and one of 29-31

    26- Kaut, Bokk
    last pick of 1 Dellandrea

    1. Wilde would be a really nice addition to this team. I could see him contributing fairly quickly and his attitude seems like a good fit in the locker room. Depends who we hire as coach I guess.

  8. Love the talk about who will be our next ”’prospect”’……….but am enjoying the playoffs…….which leads me to my point…..
    When asked which deadline move has paid off the most, Senior NHL writer-Greg Wyshynski, wrote—-” J.T. Miller of the Lightning, the other piece of that Ryan McDonagh trade with the New York Rangers. Miller’s north-south game and grit has augmented the work of stars Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. His physical presence is also an asset on an underrated physical team. This is the kind of player who helps you win the postseason.”
    Again this is why I cant buy into sather/gorton mngt team…….their moves over the past 5, 10 , 15 years shows they are completely unable to evaluate players and build a stanley cup winner!!!!!!

    1. Sather/Gorton are doing their job. At the end of the day its a consensus and you can’t hold the group accountable for one choice. They’ll get their guy in a draft, in a trade, or in a college pick. I just don’t want to see them go down the “it’s Carolina or bust” road because we’ve seen that story play out far too many times.

      1. if their job is to build a perennially mediocre team , then I agree with you, they are doing their job. However I do not believe that reaching the finals once in 20 years, is acceptable or shows that they are doing their job very well. In fact it shows a complete ineptitude on their part.
        I dont understand why fans here are so willing to accept mediocrity. And Sal, its not one choice , its a 20 year track record of failure and bad trades, drafts etc.

        1. Hey Rich , JT Miller brings a level of toughness & intensity that Tampa lacked, of course AV never saw those attributes. If Tampa wins the CUP, Yzerman’s coupe of JT Miller will go down as the trade that the Rangers will regret for the next 10 years!. Lets see what rabbit Gorton can pull out of his hat at the draft. Size & Grit, along with the ability to play the game. I am dreaming that we get this Dobson kid for our wimpy D corp, lets get this Tkachuk kid too ( good genetics) !!

  9. Tanto

    “Dobson is an old school scout’s dream, much like Tkachuk. He’s a big body who will only grow into that 6’3″ frame. He’s extremely mobile for a kid his size, skates well, has solid agility and is calm and controlled in all three zones. He has great offensive numbers, but is also a solid defender. Of all the top defenseman not named Dahlin, he appears to be the best “defender” of the bunch.”

    This is the very type of defensman I dream about. Based on the back, and forth yesterday, I said that I like size, skill, can skate, and score while playing solid defense. This kid does it all, and I’d take him over the smurf any day of the week!!!!!!!!!

    I bet when he fill out his frame, he’ll be a force to deal with in the crease…….

    1. Hey Walt, if this kid Dobson is available ?? we need to get him!! time for Gorton to get creative, I would love to see us trade up, get Dobson & Tkachuk, Dreams can come true!!

      1. Bobby

        Did you watch the game last night, look at how big the Jets are, and skilled. That’s my idea of a dream team, not the “Hit them with your purse Alice” teams we had on the ice under AV!!!!!!!!!

        1. Hey Walt, I saw it. Big Scary and Fast, and they play with an attitude of Bad intentions. A reflection of their coach. They good news is that they were NOT a very good team just a few years ago. They built through the draft, made a good free agent signing here and there , and were able to trade for Dustin Byfuglien and then sign him long term. This man Mountain 6″5 265 lb player is a weapon that can win a playoff series in so many different ways. Look what he did for the Blackhawks in their 2010 Cup win, he was playing forward then ( the other thing about the guy, he can play forward or D-fence) he was the MVP of that series , scoring goals, using his size and speed to intimidate, his body check on Chris Pronger ( no slouch himself) set a tone right from the start of that 2010 Cup finals against the Flyers, that his team would not be pushed around or intimidated ( You listening AV?? ) Now 8 years later he is a corner stone D- Man for Winnipeg. I see a Winnipeg Vs Tampa final.

  10. Would really like to see them take a hard look at Devon McAvoy with one of the late first round picks (if he falls that low). He’s a dark horse in this draft and if he can put it all together he could grow into a flat out elite NHL forward. Talent, size, pure skill, speed, IQ… he’s got it all and I don’t think his “attitude” is really all that big of a deal.

      1. Dark horse/sleeper type of prospect, so not much writing on him. He’s a RW/C out of Hallebuck, ON. The kid has all the talent/skill in the world and is worthy of a first round selection, but he has perceived “attitude” issues. If he drops out of the top 15 or so, he’s an absolute steal for whoever scoops him up.

      2. There is nothing in writing. Not in the Elite Prospects database or hockeydb, from a town in Ontario that doesn’t show on google maps.

        Troll job.

  11. Everyone is grasping at straws as there is no real NY Ranger topics to discuss until a coach is selected, a trade is made or draft day is upon us.

    Relax and enjoy the Yankees

    This includes the person who feels it necessary to thumbs down most people without a challenging reply.

  12. I worry about the bigger D men, whether they can handle the speed of the NHL. I’m not saying that someone like Dobson can’t but how do you really know? I guess that can said about any player.

    The jump from amateur to pro is big enough, but from AHL to NHL is even greater. The speed, the pace of play, and the ability to keep up with it in the NHL is what determines whether a player can make the transition.

    The questions IMO are can an offensive skilled D man learn to defend or can a defender be taught to play today’s NHL game at its current pace of play? Which side is more likely to succeed?

    1. You can teach almost anybody to defend if they want to put the work in. But if you have zero aptitude even at lower levels it takes even longer.

      When Sean O’Donnell got to the Kings organization, he was only his 4th minor league season(after being drafted at 19) and couldn’t play a lick of D. In Phoenix he put the work in and by the end of the year he got a call up(mostly for toughness) and kept working. Lasted 16 years.

      Under the CBA, he would’ve never got that chance. This is the concern I have about Boqvist: can’t defend positionally or physically, fixing both might take too much time for the drafting club to get 1st rd value from him before he goes UFA(if he makes it at all.)

      High risk, not even sold on the reward.

  13. Kotkaniemi. Played in mens league at LW but is a Center. So good for early work in NHL at wing and less pressure. Scored as much as Rantanen from Av’ s. Played great at U18. First line center.
    Bouchard, Dobson or Kotkaniemi are great picks. Boqvist seems to have fallen because of perceived defensive issues but is a high impact player. Scored two against Canada at U18 but then got injured for final. Not a big guy.

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