Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov, the seemingly second pairing for the Islanders as soon as the season will get underway, have but to fulfill in particular person. Since Romanov was traded to the Islanders on the evening of the draft, their communication has been restricted to some texts forwards and backwards, plus being on the identical Zoom name with media Monday when their respective contract extensions have been introduced.
The gamers, each 22 and born simply in the future aside, might be taking part in collectively for a very long time if issues go in response to plan.
“The little I know watching him play, he’s obviously a talented player,” Dobson mentioned of Romanov. “He skates really well and he’s got a physical presence out there and a high compete level.”
Romanov, talking publicly for the primary time since being acquired by the Islanders, cast an excited demeanor. Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, his countryman and former teammate with CSKA Moscow, is certainly one of his greatest associates — and the 2 have already hung out collectively this summer time. Getting traded shocked Romanov, however he’s enthusiastic to be with the Islanders.
“I’m ready to play right now, honestly,” Romanov mentioned. “So just waiting for the season.”
For a lot of final year, Dobson was partnered with Zdeno Chara. Though that blossomed right into a helpful mentorship for Dobson, the hole in offensive ability between him and his 45-year-old counterpart was typically evident. Romanov is seen as a defense-first participant, too, however ought to present an enchancment in that division.
“All offseason, I work only with the puck, with skills,” Romanov mentioned. “Cause I want to improve my game with the puck, honestly. But I also can play physical. I also can hit guys and start attacks, like breakouts, but I want to play more in the offensive zone.”
Dobson ought to be a great automobile to assist Romanov do this. He’s coming off a 51-point, breakout season and appears to be a star within the making. Playing alongside Romanov, the Islanders hope, will assist him attain the subsequent stage in a improvement arc that — a minimum of so far — has been pretty linear.
“I think just looking at the strengths, Alex is good enough,” Dobson mentioned. “He’s a good skater, he can be a good puck-mover and I think some of those attributes are some of my strengths as well. So I think having those tools can work well, especially, breaking pucks out and the transition in the offensive zone as well.”
Dobson, who was listed at 6-foot-4, 195 kilos final season, mentioned he’s spent the summer time engaged on constructing extra dimension and energy. After a three-year bridge deal was introduced Monday with Dobson receiving $4 million yearly, basic supervisor Lou Lamoriello mentioned he wished to “see a little bit more” from Dobson earlier than committing long run. There will nonetheless be an opportunity to barter a long-term deal earlier than Dobson hits unrestricted free company, although, as this contract will expire when he’s 25, nonetheless two years in need of eligibility for the open market.
“I don’t think there’s any hype to where he can go,” Lamoriello mentioned. “I believe it’s gonna be decided on his persistence and never going too quick and in addition doing all of the issues he does nicely and dealing on the issues that he must work on. Because to get higher once you’re a younger participant, you need to commit your self to doing and dealing on issues that you just don’t love to do. There are extraordinarily offensive gamers who don’t play protection. They don’t prefer to work at that. I believe the distinction between Noah is he’s going to work on the defensive recreation.
“So I am looking forward to seeing where he is this year, like a lot of people are.”