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.