Today we’re taking a trip down to long Island as the Islanders hope 2014 fifth overall pick Michael Dal Colle gets them out of jeopardy next season. The strong power forward ended up on the Islanders after talk the Sabres and Oilers might make a play for him, but the Islanders may be the best place for Dal Colle going forward.
Prior to Draft
The season before his name was called on draft day by the Islanders, Michael Dal Colle made his home in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals. The strong power forward type recorded 95 points in 67 games leading up to the draft.
While he didn’t suit up for Canada at the World Juniors, he did wear the red and white during the U18 Ivan Hlinka tournament where Canada was able to capture the gold medal. During the tournament Dal Colle recorded 4 points in 5 games.
In a draft full of power-forwards with the ability to provide depth and talent, Dal Colle led the way as the best power-forward available in the top 5. At 6 foot 2, 184 pounds, the guy is literally a bull who has great strength on his feet. He plays a solid two-way game and had a lot of teams excited about what he brings to the table.
New York Islanders
The Islanders picked inside the top 5 and had a tricky decision to make. With the Thomas Vanek trade still leaving a sour taste in their mouths, it came back to bite them at the draft. When they sent Matt Moulson to the Buffalo Sabres, they also sent a first round pick in either 2014 or 2015. They decided to keep their top 5 pick in 2014 opting instead to send them whatever pick they end up with next season.
Needless to say the Islanders need to have a much better season in order to get outside the top 5 when the Sabres come calling for their pick.
With the acquisitions of Jaroslav Halak, Cory Conacher, TJ Brennan, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin mixing in with John Tavares, Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo, the Islanders are poised to be a much better team. They have a ton of untapped potential and skill in their line-up. If they can find the right mix of lines and chemistry they should have a stellar season.
“Michael Dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang might not get many chances to garner attention in the Islanders’ main training camp in September.” ~NewsDay
The question is whether they have room for both of their standout picks from this years draft; the other being Josh Ho-Sang. There is little doubt that Ho-Sang has the skill to jump into the NHL, but he fell down the draft rankings faster than a hot potato due to issues with his attitude. He’s skilled, some would argue even more skilled than Dal Colle.
The interesting part of Dal Colle’s game is that despite the fact he’s a natural centre, he has experience playing on the wing which could help ease his transition into the with the Islanders. The Avalanche did that Nathan MacKinnon and the move seemed to work out just fine for the young rookie.
Will he play his rookie season in 2014-2015
As a centre there is little to no chance that Michael Dal Colle cracks the Islanders this season, as a left winger that might be a different story. The Islanders are pretty weak on the left side and could use a big and strong forward in that position, the question is whether he’s ready to step into that role.
The Islanders have a lot of forwards (16+ plus rookies) battling for 14 roster spots this upcoming season. There are going to be quite a few players heading home disappointed. However, I think Michael Dal Colle cracks the roster as a left winger this upcoming season.