BATHURST, N.B. – It has been a roller-coaster week of emotions for Noah Dobson.
There was the admitted disappointment of being sent back to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League by the New York Islanders, who drafted the 18-year-old defenceman from Summerside 12th overall in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft. However, upon his return to the Titan, Dobson was named the team’s 30th captain since the franchise arrived in Bathurst, N.B.
“It’s an honour and it’s pretty exciting (to be named captain),” said Dobson in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer. “We have a lot of new faces, and I want to try and be a good role model.”
Titan head coach Bryan Lizotte told The Guardian Dobson is very deserving of the captain’s appointment. He noted his hard work, both on and off the ice, and also described Dobson as humble and a great role model for the young Titan players to learn from.
“Noah is so professional,” he said. “Yes, he’s a good hockey player, but more than that, he’s a good person.”
After attending the Islanders’ rookie camp, Dobson remained with the team’s main camp until earlier this week.
“It was a great experience,” said Dobson in describing his time at the Islanders’ camp. “Obviously, getting sent back or cut is disappointing, because everyone wants to play in the NHL.
“Both the organization and I felt it was best to go back this year and have another year to develop, and keep working on my game and come back next year a lot stronger and more experienced and try and crack the roster.”
Dobson received feedback in a one-on-one exit interview with Islanders president of hockey operations and general manager Lou Lamoriello.
“It was really good to sit down with Mr. Lamoriello and it was all positive,” shared Dobson. “He really liked how I was at camp, and said I should be proud of the way I played and to continue to grow and develop and we’ll see you back here shortly.”
Dobson said it was a special experience being around NHL regulars.
“It was really cool to get on the ice with them, get in a couple of pre-season games against guys who are regulars in the NHL and it was a really good experience to measure yourself,” continued the son of Andrew and Jenny Dobson. “I learned a lot to take back to my game this year.”
Were there any particular players who took Dobson under their wing, or really had an influence on him at camp?
“I was really impressed by all the veterans and how well they treated me,” he answered. “Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, who were on the D core with me, were really good with me and gave me their numbers, and if I ever wanted to get away from the hotel I could go over to their place. Those are two guys who have won a Stanley Cup before.
“It was pretty cool to have guys like that wanting to help you, and it made the transition feel a lot more comfortable.”
Now Dobson will look to do the exact same thing with the young players on the Titan.
“I have been in the league for two years now, and I want to help out the younger guys and lead by example,” said Dobson, who stressed the importance of doing the little things right and being positive.
“Every night you know going into a game that any team can win that game on any given night,” continued Dobson. “You have to make sure the guys are ready, and go in with a good attitude every game.”
Noah Dobson’s statistics with Acadie-Bathurst Titan: