DALLAS – As Noah Dobson pulled on a New York Islanders’ jersey for the first time just minutes after being drafted on national television, a sense of pride overcame his family.
And as the New York Islanders announced the Summerside native’s name 12th overall in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Dallas on Friday night, his first congratulations and hugs came from his immediate family – parents Andrew and Jenny Dobson and younger sister, Elly. Andrew and Jenny, who reside in Summerside, both grew up in Bathurst, N.B., where Noah played the last two seasons with Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“Obviously, we are very proud of Noah as a family,” said Andrew. “It’s a big accomplishment. It’s a step in his path to his goal of playing in the NHL.
“We realize he’s been determined, working hard and doing what he loves to do. With the determination and the opportunities that have presented themselves, he has taken those head-on to achieve where he has to be to be in the spot he is in now.”
Andrew described it as a “surreal moment for sure” when Noah was officially drafted.
“It’s quite the long process,” continued Andrew in describing the draft experience. “The prospects get bussed down (to the arena) and get on like a red carpet. They have the cameras on you, and they interviewed Noah (on his way into the arena).
“You get to the rink about an hour and a half, two hours before the event starts. Then once the draft does start it gets quite hard on the nerves.”
Especially when you are waiting to hear one name in particular!
“You are sitting there in the crowd with pride, and you see different kids get selected,” Andrew went on to say. “I think it would be fair to say some teams went with a different approach. You have all the rankings where players are projected to go, but at the end of the day it’s a draft. You just have to be patient with it.
“We took great pride in knowing that Noah had done everything he could do to put himself in the best situation at the draft. We were fortunate the New York Islanders selected Noah, and I’m pretty sure they are going to be fortunate they selected Noah as well.”
Andrew completely agreed with the assessment that, when a player is drafted, it is a family accomplishment.
“Noah would not have gotten where he’s gotten without definitely the support of Jenny and his sister as well,” stressed Andrew in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer. “We have been at all the rinks picking him up for every practice, and a lot of our summer vacations were geared around Noah’s summer hockey.
“It’s not easy being a sibling to an NHL drafted brother, and Elly has been really great.”
Elly is also an elite athlete. She is a member of the P.E.I. Soccer Association’s provincial under-15 team that plays in the Nova Scotia league.
So, will Andrew, a Washington Capitals’ fan, now be converting to the Islanders?
“It’s quite funny you say that, but at the end of the day (the Islanders) just got Washington’s coach, Barry Trotz,” said Andrew with a chuckle. “I guess it’s a win-win for me!”