New York Islanders Michael Dal Colle Struggling in the AHL
By Kate Eliou
The word “bust” has been thrown around a lot throughout New York Islanders history. Lately, the term has befallen prospect Michael Dal Colle. Maybe undeservedly, Dal Colle has been the new focus of anti-Garth Snow fans.
New York Islanders prospect Michael Dal Colle has yet to find his stride in the AHL this season. Falling to tenth in scoring for the team with only six points through fifteen games, the young forward continues to struggle to impress.
Coming up behind three defensemen and 32-year old Steve Bernier for point totals, Dal Colle’s scoring has yet to pick up. He even ranks below Joshua Ho-Sang who has only played six games with the Sound Tigers between his stints in the NHL. While these facts paint Dal Colle in a bad light, he still may hold value for the organization.
With a more impressive 41 points in Bridgeport last season, Dal Colle isn’t a failed player just yet. Where the gripes come from for most New York Islanders fans is the team’s seemingly apparent history of poor first round picks. While Dal Colle may not be a bust, he certainly has not met the expectations the organization clearly had for him when drafting him fifth overall in 2014.
Thinking about those picked after Dal Colle in the 2014 NHL draft is like pouring salt on the wound. With players like Kevin Fiala, all star Dylan Larkin and even breakout star, William Nylander falling below him in the draft, it makes seeing Dal Colle only amount to an average AHL player far more frustrating.
The fault here lies on Garth Snow’s shoulders, not on the player’s. Had Dal Colle been drafted in the middle of the second round, everyone’s expectations would be lowered and this conversation wouldn’t be necessary.
What To Do With Him
However, the draft is done and now Islander fans must face Michael Dal Colle for the player he is. Not quite earning the bust title, he could still play a part in the coming years for the New York Islanders even if this part is being used in a trade package.
It’s now or never for the New York Islanders as their historically long rebuild is coming to an end with only some key pieces still missing. Michael Dal Colle could act as the means to get one of these pieces if he is dealt correctly.
The Islanders are in no need of offensive power at the moment and it’s no secret that their main flaw this season has been at the blue line. Using Dal Colle as a the prospect piece in a larger trade with a player like Brock Nelson or simply to acquire a lower level pick to be flipped later would be advantageous to the team.
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While Dal Colle may be disappointing to Islander fans, he could thrive in a new environment and although he hasn’t produced, he might yet still be useful to the team in a trade situation.