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The sixth overall pick in the 2016 QMJHL Draft, Noah Dobson had a solid rookie season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last year. However, it is in his second year that he really broke through as one of the premier defencemen in the league. Dobson has put up 17 goals and 69 points in 67 games for the Titan. He helped the Titan to the second-best record in the QMJHL and an Atlantic division title. Dobson had three points in six games as the Titan defeated the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the first round of the playoffs.
Dobson also played for Team Canada in last summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament winning a gold medal and putting up three assists in five games.
Noah Dobson Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born January 7th, 2000 — Summerside, Prince Edward Island
Height 6’3″ — Weight 179 lbs [191 cm/81 kg]
Dobson is a very good skater, with excellent top end speed in both directions, and good acceleration. He has a long and powerful stride, and this allows him to fight through checks when he has the puck. Dobson has good balance, and this helps him in battles in front of the net and in the corners. His pivots and edgework are also very good, allowing him to cover a ton of ice as well as transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa.
Dobson also has the passing and skating skills to move the puck up the ice and provide some offence from the backend. He is a good playmaker, who can create off the rush, and play a quarterback role on the powerplay. He has the vision and smarts to find the open man, and the passing skill to thread the needle through tight openings. Dobson uses his agility to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lines.
Dobson has a bomb of a slapshot and one-timer and he lets both fly from the blue line. He really gets his whole body behind the shot, and will be even more dangerous as he continues to grow. Sometimes he sneaks in from the point and lets go an effective wrist shot with a very good release.
Dobson plays a strong defensive game, with good positioning and gap control. His strong skating allows him to keep attackers in front of him and force them to the outside. He keeps himself between the puck and the net, and uses a long and active stick to cut down passing lanes. Dobson is not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. He battles hard along the boards, and wins most of his battles at the junior level, but can still get stronger. He is also very good at clearing the front of the net. Dobson has also been known to throw a big hit from time-to-time, but these are rare as he works hard not to get caught out of position.
Projection and Comparison
Dobson can stand to improve his upper body strength and be more effective in physical battles and get even more power on his shot. There is time for the 18-year-old to add muscle to a skinny frame. He may need a year or two of development time, but he has the potential to be a number one defenceman at the NHL level, playing both the power play and the penalty kill, and taking on other team’s top lines. In terms of style, his game is comparable to Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Dobson that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
GATINEAU, CANADA – OCTOBER 18: Noah Dobson #53 of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan skates against the Gatineau Olympiques on October 18, 2017 at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante / Freestyle Photo / Getty Images)