The New York Islanders just sent two former first round picks and top prospects, Michael Dal Colle (fifth overall in 2014) and Anthony Beauviller (28th overall in 2015), back to their respective junior camps after failing to make the team.
Although Dal Colle was not a surefire bet to make the team, many are surprised he was cut this early. Last year, he scored 93 points in 56 games in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and led his team, the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup win. He was expected to at least make the team out of camp and play a few games before possibly getting sent back to junior so that he does not burn a year of his entry-level contract (similar to Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart last year). However, Generals fans must be celebrating that they got their best player back for one more year.
Cutting Beauviller at this point was expected. He is still only 18 and will probably spend the next couple seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league (QMJHL) with the Shawinigan Cataractes.
This marks the fourth time the Islanders have sent a top prospect back to junior. They have also infamously sent back Josh Ho-Sang, as well as Mitchell Vande Sompel.
Despite the fact that Dal Colle had a quiet preseason, his early cut speaks volumes as to how competitive it is to make the Islanders’ forwards this year. Like I have said early, the top four lines are pretty much set with returning players, but the one or two spots for spare forwards are open. It is likely that Steve Bernier will take one of them because of his defensive play and experience, while the other spot will be between hotshot rookie Kirill Petrov, veteran tryout Eric Boulton, 24-year-old Louis Leblanc and 2015 draft pick Mathew Barzal. Dal Colle, Taylor Beck, Justin Florek, Bracken Kearns, James Wright and Ben Holmstrom were also in the running for those spots, but have since been cut.
Also check out: Do the New York Islanders have the best Forwards in the League?
Also this just in on the New York Islanders injury situation from Arthur Staple of Newsday:
Could more spots be open? How long will Jaro Halak be out for? Good thing they brought in Marek Zidlicky. This also increases the chances of Ryan Pulock making the team.