Although it was a bit of a long shot that he’d ever be released, Team Canada will be without New York Islanders defenceman Noah Dobson for the World Junior Hockey Championships, which begins on Dec. 26.
Dobson was speculated to be in the mix, but has taken on a larger role with the Islanders with Nick Leddy out of the lineup due to injury.
Canada already named seven defencemen to its roster, and Dobson’s exclusion is good news for Erie Otters standout Jamie Drysdale, who was rumoured to be the odd man out if the Islanders blueliner was added to the roster. Drysdale is an offensive specialist who will likely feature on the power play, with a game that is eerily similar to that of Nashville Predators star Ryan Ellis.
Team Canada 🇨🇦 defence is now set, no Noah Dobson. So it looks like:
McIsaac - Smith
Bahl - Bernard-Docker
Byram - Addison
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 17, 2019
New York clearly views Dobson as an irreplaceable asset at this juncture of the season as it loaned forward Oliver Wahlstrom to the Team USA for the duration of the tournament. Wahlstrom, selected 11th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, figures to be an important component of the United States’ top-six, posting two goals and four points during the 2019 tournament.
Dobson was taken one pick after Wahlstrom in 2018 and is an important component of one of the NHL’s best defensive systems under the tutelage of head coach Barry Trotz. In 10 games with the Islanders this season, Dobson has posted two assists, but his impact goes beyond the scoresheet evidently. Canada’s loss is the Islanders’ gain.
Canada begins its tournament against the United States on Dec. 26 in what’s expected to be one of the tournament’s defining games.
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