Noah Dobson’s extension offer value can be hinted off past Islanders deals

Extending Noah Dobson’s contract was not the first order of business for the Islanders during what should be a truly fascinating offseason after general manager Lou Lamoriello signaled openness to change on breakup day seven weeks ago.

Kyle MacLean, Maxim Tsyplakov and Marcus Hogberg have already beaten the rising star defenseman to the punch in putting ink to paper and more could come at next week’s draft, with Dobson ineligible to sign until July 1.

Extending Dobson does not have any bearing on whether the Islanders will change tack, or the degree of change that will be involved, if so.

Still, it is arguably the most important item on Lamoriello’s to-do list this summer, the same way extending Ilya Sorokin was a year ago, the same way extending Mathew Barzal was two years ago.

Noah Dobson #8 of the New York Islanders looks to pass the puck in the first period, Thursday, Dec. 7. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

That is the class in which Dobson now walks as he enters his age-25 season.

Any and all questions about his value were asked and answered during a campaign in which Dobson saw a dramatic uptick in ice time and played against the toughest opposition after injuries decimated the Islanders’ back line, proving himself more than equal to the task by putting up 70 points and establishing himself as one of the league’s best young D-men.

He is the franchise, every bit as much as Barzal and Sorokin are the franchise. He will be paid like it.

“He’s growing every year,” Lamoriello said on breakup day. “And I think that there’s no ceiling to his potential.

“But he’s growing, like every other young player. Every year that you have success, certainly you get recognized a little bit more and you get a little more attention. But there’s no question that the sky is the limit.”

Information is in short supply around any contract negotiation involving Lamoriello.

But recent history tells us the Islanders do not like to let things linger into the season.

Sorokin was signed to an eight-year pact last July 1.

Barzal was signed for eight seasons a few days into 2022 training camp.

Bo Horvat, acquired Jan. 30, 2023, signed for eight years Feb. 5, a day before making his Islanders debut.

Eight years — the maximum for a player re-signing with his same team — has been the commonality here.

That term would take Dobson through his age-32 season and deliver his projected peak to the Islanders.

Salary is a tougher thing to predict, particularly with the cap rising to $88 million next season and projected to go to $92 million in 2025-26, when Dobson’s next contract will kick in — approximately 110 percent of what it is now.

It should continue to rise after that. A running theme this summer will be how that impacts every contract.

This dynamic was already evident earlier this week in Vancouver, where Filip Hronek inked an eight-year deal at a reported $7.25 million average annual value.

Hronek is two years older than Dobson and played similar minutes last season, but is not on the top power-play unit and does not produce nearly as much offensively.

Bo Horvat #14 of the New York Islanders handles puck against Ryan McDonagh #27 of the Nashville Predators. Michelle Farsi/New York Post
Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders makes save in the 2nd period against the Carolina Hurricanes during Game 3 in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Michelle Farsi/New York Post

Under the flat cap, a long-term extension for a player of Dobson’s caliber would have likely come in a hair over $8 million annually.

Jake Sanderson signed in Ottawa last October for eight years, $64.4 million; Owen Power inked a seven-year extension around the same time in Buffalo for $58.45 million total.

When Tampa wanted to lock up Mikhail Sergachev long term in the summer of 2022, it cost the Lightning $68 million over eight seasons.

Now? Under a $92 million cap, Evolving Hockey projects a Dobson extension at eight years and $10.52 million annually, on average.

Noah Dobson’s contract is at the top of Lou Lamoriello’s offseason to-do list. Noah K. Murray-NY Post

That would make him the highest-paid player on the Islanders, and the highest-paid defenseman by a wide margin (the latter of those will undoubtedly be the case no matter what).

This will not be the NBA’s summer of 2016, when a dramatic cap rise enabled Kevin Durant to go to the Warriors and resulted in immediate laughable deals such as Timofey Mozgov’s signing with the Lakers at four years and $64 million mere minutes into free agency, with teams overreacting to the new reality.

But it will be something.

This is a good time to be signing a contract.

This is a good time to be Noah Dobson.

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