2018 NHL draft prospect profile #6: Noah Dobson

REGINA, SK - MAY 27: Noah Dobson #53 of Acadie-Bathurst Titan skates against the Regina Pats at Brandt Centre - Evraz Place on May 27, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
REGINA, SK - MAY 27: Noah Dobson #53 of Acadie-Bathurst Titan skates against the Regina Pats at Brandt Centre - Evraz Place on May 27, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

 As we are trekking towards the draft, we likely have the most important profile to cover in our series. Noah Dobson is well liked by the Canucks, the media and much of the fanbase. He could be wearing the blue and green on June 22nd.

The right-handed, power play defenceman. Like the four-leaf clover, this type of player is not as common around the league. More defencemen shoot left-handed, forcing special teams to align in a particular way. As with left-handed pitchers in baseball, having a power play quarterback shooting the opposite way opens up a lot of options.

It’s not enough to be right-handed. Having the offensive capabilities to produce like an elite, top-pairing blueliner completes the picture. Several teams, including the Vancouver Canucks are searching for this exact player.

Could Noah Dobson be that guy? Maybe. Although, I would be very careful about over-projecting. Right handed defenders have a lot more inherit value in this league due to their rarity. And that trait tends to bump up their value in rankings.

Regardless, Dobson is still a very good player. He certainly brings offence to the table and does many things right with few flaws. Here is a deeper look into one of the fastest risers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

The stats rundown

*Counting statistics provided by EliteProspects

Height: 190 cm/6’3″

Weight: 81 kg/179 lbs

Birthdate: January 7, 2000

Position: Defenceman

Handedness: Right

Team (league): Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)







#6 by Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects)

#8 by Craig Button


This kind of gaudy production is the stuff we would see from a forward, so it’s no surprise why Dobson is ranked this high up. Of those 69 points, 38 were picked up at even strength. Dobson can produce effectively at 5v5 and do work on the power play, something desired by many teams.

Furthermore, Dobson had the second most points for all QMJHL defencemen. The person he lost to was his teammate, Olivier Galipeau (who is an overage player).

If you took a look yourself, you may notice that many of Dobson’s assists were secondary, but for defencemen, that’s not too bad of a sign. If he were a forward, it would lead to some questions, but nothing major. Where Dobson really took hold of everyone’s attention was at the Memorial Cup. Acadie-Bathurst winning was great for him and his team, but Dobson really used that tournament to shine. He tied for the most points (7) from a defenceman with Josh Mahura, but did it in one fewer game.

The Titan were one of the best teams in the QMJHL, but Dobson still drove play offensively. His relative goals for percentage was five, which is good. It means he has a positive effect on the team’s share of goals, but it doesn’t scream high-end offensive ability.

Scouting reports

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Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects:

"The draft’s biggest riser finished his season with a bang. The smooth-skating, right-shot defender led his Acadie-Bathurst squad to a Memorial Cup victory. He was the heart and soul of the team while also piling up the points at a rapid pace. (…)Dobson is considered a lock for the top 10 and could even find himself vying for as high as third overall when things shake out in Dallas this month. He has all the tools to be an impact defender in the NHL."

David Castillo, Defending Big D:

"If you’re looking at Noah Dobson as a scout, you’re feeling warm and fuzzy. Dobson is a specimen at 6’3” and nearly 180 pounds, but he’s not just fast for a big man. He’s just plain fast. With his speed and mobility (so much so that when the CHL had their top prospect showcase, Dobson was the best backwards skater), his size is simply more pronounced rather than an asset in and of itself. (…)His method of offense is pretty typical of most modern offensive defensemen; with his speed, he likes to activate and join the play. He doesn’t have a booming shot per se… (…)Having the tools for offense is not the same as being offensive. Obviously, Dobson nets a lot of points, and that’s great. But he doesn’t have quick hand speed, and in the footage I’ve drawn from, I don’t think he’s uniquely adept at finding passing lanes in multiple directions."

What we think

It can be hard to accurately distinguish top pairing ability from the top four. The Canucks made this overestimation with Olli Juolevi. However, Noah Dobson brings along a rather impressive skill set. Today, skating is a marquee ability to have since the smaller North American ice is bogged down with defensive systems. Speed, maneuverability and sound passing can pick apart any trap.

And Dobson has all of that. I really like is skating and his strength on the puck. Dobson doesn’t have a booming slap shot, but he has one hell of a wrister. But like David Castillo mentioned, he can have the tools, but not be that top pairing player people hope for. Of course, Dobson could shatter expectations. Prospects do that. For now, I will play it safe and keep those projections in the top four. I wouldn’t throw around future top-pairing just yet.

Comparing draft years, Dobson did produce more than Juolevi. Acadie-Bathurst was a weaker team than those 2015-16 London Knights, but Juolevi also had seven points in that year London won the Memorial Cup. Looking at relative goal metrics, Juolevi had a relative GF5 of 11. Although, I would say that Dobson’s style of play and abilities may give him more offensive upside.

Next: 2018 NHL draft profile #7: Brady Tkachuk

At the end of it, Dobson would be a fine choice, relative to where Vancouver is making their selection. And if the next two prospects in our series are off the board, then in my opinion, Dobson is the next best option. Keep this in mind, Dobson will be a good pick and great addition to the prospect pool. I just feel there are a couple higher end options, should they become available.