New York Islanders first-round draft selection Michael Dal Colle is going to make his regular-season debut for the Islanders. I hope he makes it count.
In 2014 the New York Islanders selected Michael Dal Colle fifth overall in the draft. Dal Colle was a big bodied forward with a knack for scoring.
In his OHL season leading up to the draft Dal Colle put up 95 points in 67 games for the Oshawa Generals. Placing him tied for third in the OHL in scoring that season. Only Scott Kosmachuk and Connor McDavid had more points.
After being drafted Dal Colle continued his prolific junior career, adding another 173 points in 116 games. By the time his OHL career was over he was absolutely ready for the next step.
He’s spent last season with the Sound Tigers and put up 41 points. Never getting a shot at the NHL thanks to rookies like Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Ho-Sang and Mathew Barzal, all getting a shot before Dal Colle.
Until now. Today marks Michael Dal Colle’s first regular-season start for the New York Islanders. (He’s played in the pre-season for them). It’s been long awaited and some would say long-overdue.
Recently my co-Expert got me to say that Dal Colle has been a draft bust. He and Conner Bleackley hold the distinction as being the only two players selected in the first round of the 2014 draft to not play an NHL game yet. Although Nikita Scherbak and his five games aren’t far away.
Michael Dal Colle gets to remedy that today. He’s playing his first game and I so desperately want him to prove my joining the “bust” train as a naive decision. I want him to make me eat my words.
I don’t expect him to go out there against the Rangers and score a hat-trick, or even score for that fact. I just want him to look comfortable and a positive contributor to the team. No rookie mistakes, look engaged, make the simple and effective play.
Don’t give the puck away, cause everyone is looking at those right now. Don’t take a bad penalty. Just play a strong and engaged game and I’ll be glad. Chip in with a goal and a point? Gravy. That’s a bonus.