We’re down to single digits in the New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25 countdown. Next up is the Islanders first round pick from 2014.
The 2013-14 season was one to forget for the New York Islanders. They went 34-37-11 to finish in 26th on the season. November of 2013 was particularly unkind, with the Isles going 4-10-1.
But thanks to a draft that rewards the weak, the Islanders were able to select 5th overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft. A pick they used to select Michael Dal Colle from the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
In his draft year, Dal Colle put up 95 points in 67 games and lead his team in playoff scoring with another 20 points in 12 games. Leapfrogging above recognizable NHL players like Jake Virtanen (6), Nikolaj Ehlers (9), and Dylan Larkin (15).
Dal Colle, unlike those other I just name, has yet to play an NHL game, so why are we so excited about him?
There’s Just Something Special
Just looking at his OHL numbers gives us reason to believe this kid is going to be something special in the NHL. Not Conor McDavid levels of special, but a top six player type of special
I’ve already laid out his draft year numbers, 95 points in 67 games or 1.4 points per game is something special. Good for 6th in terms of regular season OHL scoring.
In 2014-15, Dal Colle followed that up with 93 points in 56 games or 1.6 points per game. And, added an OHL championship to his resumé. Leading the Generals over Conor McDavid’s Erie Otters in a best-of-seven series.
Dal Colle then added a memorial cup to his name that year, as his Oshawa Generals beat out Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl‘s Kelowna Rockets 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.
So chalk that up, that’s better production with an extra 0.2 points per game and another two championships to his name. He couldn’t make the team out of his first training camp in 2015-16, but back in the juniors, Dal Colle dominated again with 80 points in 60 games for both Oshawa and Kingston.
Dal Colle is an offensive force, at least at the junior level. Now in his second training camp, the Islanders are taking another long hard look at their fifth overall pick.
The Islanders NHL roster is remarkably deep, getting a spot won’t likely happen this year for Dal Colle. But sending him back to the juniors wouldn’t do him or the team any good either.
Hockey’s future only gives Dal Colle a probability of success a ‘C’ rating. It sounds low until you see that they gave McDavid a ‘B’. Dal Colle has looked good so far, scoring one against the Flyers in the opening of the pre-season. This year will be about being around the team, taking his changes when they come up.