New York Islanders prospect, and former fifth overall pick, Michael Dal Colle is single-handedly saving his value this year.
Heading into this season it appeared as though all hope was lost for the once fifth overall pick by the New York Islanders. At that point, Michael Dal Colle finished up his second full season in the AHL, now four years after he was drafted.
Not only was it upsetting that MDC was still in the AHL at this point, but he also took a significant step back in 2017-2018. Dal Colle went from an okay 41 points in 75 games to 24 in 60 last year.
Yes, he finally made his NHL debut last year but it was just a brief four-game stint where he gave the Isles virtually nothing. He had literally no expectations heading into this year playing with Bridgeport once again.
This season has been much different though. It seems to have finally clicked, at least at the AHL level, for the 22-year-old forward. He has 25 points (16 goals, 9 assists) in 25 games. It’s the first time he’s a point per game player since his OHL days.
If you look at how he’s played, especially recently with seven goals in the last four games, he is completely re-writing the narrative on himself. I must admit, I called him a bust last year, and there’s a chance he still might be one at the NHL level, but he has shown off some potential in 2018 so far.
So much so that he might be best served in a trade. When looking at the Islanders prospect pool they have both Dal Colle and Keiffer Bellows on the left wing in the AHL. Of the two, personally, I like Bellows’ game better.
At times, Bellows has been flat out dominant in the games he’s played in and I think he will have a very productive NHL career. You can most likely only choose one of the two of these guys to hold onto.
There’s an extremely high chance that the Islanders extend Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier is also a left winger who will be a part of the future. You also can’t forget about Andrew Ladd, as much as you’d like to, so that leaves room for just one person.
Like I mentioned, of the two I’d prefer to keep Bellows. I understand Bellows might yield you more in a trade due to his age and progression but if you package Dal Colle with a pick, using Dal Colle as the second piece of the trade, I think you’d be able to improve your team in areas of need.
The Islanders still have question marks at the center and goalie position in terms of long-term solutions. Perhaps, Dal Colle will be better served as a chip to improve your roster. The benefit of having a top-five prospect pool is that you can afford to move a couple of your prospects for NHL proven talent.