TORONTO – It’s been quite a week for defenceman Noah Dobson.
The Summerside native was ranked No. 8 in the latest National Hockey League Central Scouting Midterm Rankings released Monday for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas on June 22 and 23.
Then, later in the week, a Canadian Hockey League (CHL) media release noted Dobson “led the way in overall on-ice testing based on results across the 10 different categories,” and he played for Team Orr in the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Prospects Game in Guelph, Ont., on Thursday night.
“Any time you are at these events, you realize how many good players are out there, and how small the margin is that separates the players,” said Dobson in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer on Friday. “It’s a good learning experience, and you take the things you learn from this and bring it back to your game.”
When asked his reaction on his latest draft ranking, Dobson is keeping things in perspective.
“It’s nice to hear that stuff, but at the end of the day I try not to pay too much attention to it,” said Dobson. “You cannot control that stuff, but the main thing you can control is how you play every night.
“I’m just going to keep trying to improve my game each night, and come June we’ll see what happens.”
Dobson, who has 47 points – 10 goals and 37 assists – in 46 regular-season games in his sophomore season with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League said some highlights from the prospects game experience were the opportunity to play with a lot of great players from around the CHL, learn from great coaches and getting to meet Eric Lindros and Don Cherry.
“Overall, it was a great experience, and I had fun with it,” said Dobson.
Although Team Orr lost to Team Cherry 7-4, the 18-year-old son of Andrew and Jenny Dobson played for Team Orr and picked up one minor penalty, and felt he “had a pretty good game.”
Dobson said his goal is to “keep taking steps forward” and work on improving his game.
“I think this experience is a step forward, showing you can play against the top players in your league,” said Dobson, who is now focusing on a strong stretch run with Titan, who entered Friday’s play sixth overall in the 18-team league at 25-13-6-2 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses).
“It’s almost crunch time, and now all the games get tighter, faster and harder,” said Dobson. “We are looking forward to finish the year off strong, and hopefully have a good playoff run.”