The Islanders’ prized defense prospect, drafted No. 12 overall in 2018 and ineligible to play in the AHL, is on the roster because the organization believes his development would be stunted if he remained with his junior hockey team.
Now, with Andy Greene having been acquired from the Devils on Sunday, Dobson will be the odd man out of the lineup.
Most likely, he would have been out of the lineup anyway on Monday afternoon against the Coyotes at Gila River Arena after playing 19 straight games since top-pair defenseman Adam Pelech suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury Jan. 2.
Barry Trotz said as much after Dobson’s turnover-prone performance in Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to the Golden Knights.
“You’re never happy with yourself when you have a bad game,” Dobson told Newsday after Saturday’s loss. “You want to be good every game. It’s a desperate time of the year. I just need to continue to build. It wasn’t my best game. There’s nothing you can do about it now. But you watch it and learn from it and see where you went wrong and correct it and be better.”
The right-shooting Dobson, 20, has a goal and four assists in 30 games and played on his off side in Pelech’s absence.
Saturday’s second period was particularly rough for Dobson. His turnover led to an early scoring chance for Vegas, he iced the puck trying to clear the zone at 8:05 and he negated the final 47 seconds of the Islanders’ second power play by tripping defenseman Nate Schmidt at 14:34.
“I made a couple of poor decisions with the puck,” Dobson said. “I can’t make those plays at this time of the year.”