At the 2018 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders selected Noah Dobson with the 12th overall pick. The Islanders were searching for a cornerstone defenseman and it looks like they found their guy in Dobson. Most analysts are projecting Dobson to make the Islanders roster as a 19 year old and have an immediate impact. The Islanders have a plethora of young defensemen with Devon Toews, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield and more, but Dobson may be the best of them all. We were able to speak with the budding star about his time in the juniors, representing his country, the offseason, and the Islanders upcoming training camp.
What part of your game were you working on in the offseason?
“I think I was doing some work overall, I’m trying to get better in all areas. I took some time off the ice and focused on getting stronger and I’ve been in the gym a lot. Obviously in all of those areas you need to improve, but my goal was to add some strength and get stronger after a couple of long seasons. It’s important to build the muscle back up and get some rest as well to be ready come September.”
What are your goals for Islanders training camp?
“I obviously want to go in with a good mindset and be confident in my abilities. I had a good rookie camp and I hope to carry it on to the main camp. My goal this year is to contend for a roster spot, but the team is very strong. I’m just going to take it one day at a time and focus on my game, go in with a good mindset and work my hardest and we’ll see what happens.”
How will your mindset differ going into Islanders training camp this year compared to last year?
“I think I’ll be a lot more comfortable going into this year’s training camp. I’m a bit more familiar with this group of guys and how things work and the surroundings on Long Island. I think the comfort level is really going to help my comfort level going into camp and I feel a lot more confident going into camp than I did last year. I won’t have the same nerves as I did. Now going in there to take a spot, I feel a lot better going into training camp then I did my first time.”
How has your game changed compared to last year?
“I think just more maturity and another year under your belt helped me to complete my game and round it out to be a more complete player. I think I added some physicality and grit in the corners and in front of the net so I added that to my game as well; which came with age and size and strength, all that stuff. I think over the last year I’ve really grown into a complete defenseman that can play both sides of the puck and play all different roles.”
What was it like representing your country and what did you learn playing for Team Canada?
“It was a huge honor to represent my country at such a big stage like that in Canada at a great city like Vancouver. Obviously it wasn’t the result we wanted but at the end of the day it was a great learning experience. I was able to really enjoy wearing the maple leaf on such a big stage, it’s what you want growing up. You watch the World Juniors around Christmas or Boxing Day with family. To be one of those players that kids look up to is a real honor. I really enjoyed the experience besides the result didn’t come on our side.”
What was it like winning the Memorial Cup in back-to-back years?
“It was a pretty crazy year with the trade and the transition to a new team around Christmas time. Obviously it worked out great. To go on a deep playoff run to win another Q championship and go on and win the Memorial Cup was pretty surreal. I was fortunate to be in that situation and play for great teams. Not many players have the opportunity to win one championship, let alone two. It was a crazy ride with a great group of guys in the locker room and I really enjoyed winning the second one as much as the first.”
Who on the Islanders on you closest with?
“That’s a tough question, but I know Ross Johnston pretty well. He’s from Prince Edward Island and I’ve been skating with him all summer so I got to know him quite a bit. It’s nice to have a guy like that, that you know and someone from the same providence as you. He’s been really good at helping me out and I got to know him a lot throughout the summer.”
Is there anything in New York or on Long Island that you’re looking forward to doing?
“I haven’t really been into the city in Manhattan so I’m looking forward to getting out there and checking that out soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to go during camp some time. That’s one thing that I’m looking forward to do.”