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Prospect Update: Alex Dostie
By Thomas Harrington
Alex Dostie completed his first season of professional hockey, spending most of his time in the AHL with a little time spent in the ECHL.
Dostie didn’t exactly light the world on fire in his first career professional season, and that’s alright. In fact, it’s fair to say that most of San Diego’s rookie class last season didn’t have a huge impact on the team, but hopefully, they’ll all be better in their sophomore outings. Dostie played in 41 games with the San Diego Gulls and scored three goals and 10 points. Given the fact that he played primarily bottom six minutes and was a healthy scratch a decent amount of the time, those aren’t bad numbers. Dostie also played in five games for the Utah Grizzlies and scored two goals and five points. Dostie actually had a promising start to the season, scoring his first career professional goal in his first game of the season. By the time October was over, he had scored two goals and four points in five games. Unfortunately, his offense dried up after that and he only recorded one assist in November. He played better in December, picking up three more assists, but once the calendar turned to 2018, his offense was almost nonexistent, as he only scored one goal and two points through the rest of the season. Unfortunately, the rest of San Diego mirrored his offensive slump at the end of the season, causing the team to miss the playoffs.
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It’s unsurprising that Dostie struggled through much of last season. It was his first time playing against professional competition and he was living in a brand new country. Also, the Gulls had a number of forwards that had to be scratched on a nightly basis, making it hard for some of the younger players to develop a rhythm in their play. Dostie’s trip to the ECHL was good for his development. It showed that he does have a scoring touch, he just needs to figure out the AHL and continue to adjust to the pro game.
A year ago, I didn’t set high expectations for Dostie. As a first-year AHL player playing on a deep team, I knew that he’d struggle to find ice time. That being said, I was hoping for more than three goals. I was also hoping that he’d get better as the season went on. Instead, his youthful energy served him well early on, but he hit a wall after October.
This coming season, my expectations for Dostie are a little higher. First, even though it was beneficial for him to be in the ECHL last year, I’d like to see him spend the entire season in the AHL and be a healthy scratch less often. The Gulls will be getting a number of new rookies this coming year, making competition for roster spots even more intense. Dostie is going to need to significantly improve his play if he wants to be in the lineup on a more regular basis. Also, with so many more rookies on the roster, Dostie will now be one of the veteran players and his play will hopefully reflect that. Second, while he won’t be leading the team in points, he does need to see a jump in his offensive production. He doesn’t need a huge increase in points to be an effective player, but something in the five to 10 goal range with 15 to 20 points would be ideal for his second AHL season. Finally, I’d like to see more consistency from him. Getting four points in his first five games was great, but following that up with six points in 35 games was less so. All three of these expectations go together: by getting into more games and being more consistent night in and night out, this should lead to a higher offensive output from him.
In terms of his NHL future, I highly doubt that Dostie will make his way to the NHL this coming year. The Gulls have several other forwards who are more NHL ready than him. Instead, he just needs to focus on playing as well as he can in the AHL this season, and then hope to play well enough to get a chance at the NHL in the 2019-2020 season.
Dostie currently has two years left on his entry-level contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent when his contract is up. His development over the next two years will decide whether or not the Ducks decide to extend him. While I don’t think he’ll be a full-time NHL player in two years’ time if he develops well enough he could have carved out a spot in San Diego for himself and get rewarded with a new contract.
The next prospect update will be on Olle Eriksson Ek.
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July 16th, 2018