BLOG: A Memorable Journey
Noah Dobson’s journey to the QMJHL has been unique to say the least.
At 15 years old, Dobson suited up for the Red Bull Hockey Academy based in Salzburg, Austria. The next year, he was being selected 6th overall by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the 1st round of the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft.
“My European experience was great, the facilities at Red Bull were incredible,” said the Summerside, PEI product. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to experience Europe. Not many 15-year-olds get to live in Europe on their own for a year. You could say I lived a hockey player’s dream!”
There is no doubt living on his own, on a different continent, helped the young 2018 NHL Draft Prospect grow not only as a player, but as a person as well. However, Dobson is quick to point out the impact his parents have had on his life and career.
“Everyone has played a part in helping me grow in the game, most importantly my parents”, said the soft-spoken defenseman. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Whether it was getting me to the rink on time or just supporting me, I can’t thank them enough.”
Dobson burst on the QMJHL scene a season ago when he amassed 26 points in 63 games as a 16-year-old rookie. The 6’3’’ right-shooting defenseman possesses tremendous individual skills, a great hockey sense, and superb instincts. He provides a solid two-way presence for the Titan, and has really blossomed in head coach Mario Pouliot’s system.
“My experience in the Q has been great so far. I was able to get a lot of experience and playing time and learned a lot last year,” said Dobson. “Mario has been great for my development, he really gave me a lot of opportunities as a 16-year-old [and] I feel the experience I gained last year has helped me get off to a strong start this year.”
Dobson has already surpassed his point production from a season ago and, following the latest trade deadline, currently sits 4th in team scoring with 39 points in 41 games.
Dobson’s skill, size and style of play have certainly attracted many NHL scouts, but he understands the high expectations, pressure and potential distractions that may also come from having all those eyes on him.
“Getting drafted into the NHL would be a dream come true for me, it’s something I have dreamt of as a kid and something I’m continuously working towards”, he said. “Obviously there’s a lot of pressure and hype [with] this being my Draft year, but I’m trying not to pay too much attention to that and I’m trying to block out the noise.”
“My main focus is on what I can control and that’s my play on the ice. I just want to keep improving my game each year and help the team win every night,” said the blueliner.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan looks poised to become one of top teams in the QMJHL this season and is building in hopes to land a President Cup title. The Titan is currently tied for sixth place in the standings with 50 points in 41 games, which is just seven points shy of the QMJHL’s top spot.
“I think after the [trade] deadline it’s an exciting time to try to put together a run. We have a great group of guys here, which makes it enjoyable coming to the rink each day,” said Dobson. “Last season’s playoff experience is really going to help us down the stretch.”
In the meantime, Dobson will try and close off the regular season by keeping nearly a point-per-game pace in the hopes of leading his team deep into the post-season, and hopefully adding a few milestones to his already memorable journey.
Here is an interview I recently conducted with Dobson: