New York Islanders: Michael Dal Colle Is Playing His Way To Trade Bait

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Michael Dal Colle
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Michael Dal Colle /

New York Islanders prospect Michael Dal Colle is hot to start the year. He’s playing himself into having value in a trade which is ideal.

This past offseason the New York Islanders were ranked fifth in the league in terms of their prospect pool. That list only made a brief mention of former fifth overall pick Michael Dal Colle as he was ranked the Isles 11th best prospect.

As we know by now, thanks to two underwhelming years in Bridgeport in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 the “bust” word was being thrown around a lot when it came to Dal Colle.

Under the new regime, Dal Colle has gotten off to a hot start in 2018-2019 leading the Sound Tigers with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in five games. His play is causing a good problem for the Islanders to have.

Now, if he is truly becoming the player the Islanders thought they were getting in the first round of the draft when he was selected, the Islanders have an overload of prospects who play wing. Besides Dal Colle, you have Kieffer Bellows, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Josh Ho-Sang who are very close to cracking the NHL roster.

There’s no way all four of those guys listed above will be able to play for the Islanders with how their current contracts are depth chart looks for the foreseeable future.

On the left side, Andrew Ladd is here for five more years left on his deal. He isn’t going anywhere. Then you also have Anthony Beauvillier who is a left winger, he’s an RFA after this season but he too isn’t going anywhere.

Then, you have Anders Lee, who they just made captain. Yes, he’s a UFA after this year but all signs are pointing to him being extended. That leaves just one more left wing spot for the future and it’s between Kieffer Bellows or Michael Dal Colle.

As a prospect, Bellows is the all-around better player. He’s a better skater than Dal Colle and he also has better puck handling skills. Bellows’ shot is too good to give up on, while Dal Colle, who may finally be putting things together is a much bigger risk.

Using Dal Colle in a trade is the move for Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders. Him being a former top-five pick holds value (if his strong play in the A continues). He’ll likely not be a centerpiece of a trade but perhaps you can use both him and a player on an expiring deal, like Brock Nelson or Jordan Eberle to look for a second line center or a left-handed defenseman.

Right now, those are the two biggest holes on the team. If you can address either of them with a prospect and a player you’re likely not re-signing you do it.

When the trade deadline rolls around, the hope is that Michael Dal Colle is still producing so you can flip him as part of a deal. Here are some guys you can look to pursue and using Michael Dal Colle and additional pieces: Oscar Klefbom, TJ Brodie, or Matt Duchene.

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This time last year, we thought Michael Dal Colle was going to have no value to the Islanders, at least now he could help plug a hole even if it’s because of him being used in a trade.