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New York Islanders Michael Dal Colle Rewarded by Barry Trotz

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Michael Dal Colle #28 of the New York Islanders (c) scores the game winning goal at 17:37 of the third period against the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: Michael Dal Colle #28 of the New York Islanders (c) scores the game winning goal at 17:37 of the third period against the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Drafted fifth overall in 2014 by the New York Islanders, Michael Dal Colle hasn’t seen the start he’d hoped to see on draft night. But he’s worked his way to an offensive assignment next to Barzal in the Islanders next game.

He was drafted by the New York Islanders with incredible junior numbers. As the fifth overall draft pick in 2015, the hope was that Michael Dal Colle could be a key piece in the New York Islanders offense for years to come.

With 316 points and 246 games between the Kingston Frontenacs and the Oshawa Generals, big things were expected from Dal Colle. But including this season’s 28 points in 29 AHL games Dal Colle has an AHL return of 0.485 points-per-game. Not great.

But with that almost point-per-game pace this season, he’s worked his way to the NHL. Since making the jump to the NHL he’s primarily played a more defensive role with Valtteri Filppula and Leo Komarov. But now, it seems that coach Barry Trotz is ready to give him a more offensive assignment.

Give Him Offense

At today’s practice, Barry Trotz is playing Michael Dal Colle next to Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey in Anthony Beauvillier’s spot. Beau, for his part, is taking Dal Colle’s spot next to Filppula and Komarov.

On Barzal’s line, Dal Colle will get the chance to play a bit more offense. In his 18 games this season, Dal Colle has started 52.6 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone. By contrast, Beauvillier starts 59.6 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.

Dal Colle won’t be allowed to forget the defensive lessons he picked up playing with Filppula and Komarov, but his more obvious skill set will be allowed to flourish now.

Dal Colle has absolutely earned this opportunity to prove that he can be that offensively dynamic player that the New York Islanders drafted almost five years ago. His three points in 16 games this season don’t scream offense, but he’s played well defensively and taken his opportunities when presented.

Unlike Anthony Beauvillier. Beau has had his chance next to Barzal but of late and it just hasn’t been working. He’s been getting himself into scoring situations but it just isn’t coming off for Beauvillier. And to be fair, the last time Beauvillier went on a run of scoring it was playing next to Filppula and Komarov.

Dal Colle is getting this chance to play next to Barzal on merit. He’s done what was asked of him by the coach with a more defensive assignment and he’s done it well. Now he can move up the roster.

The Islanders need to find a way to get the Barzal line going. They’ve been fairly invisible since the return from the All-Star break. Switching up who sits on Barzal’s left-wing might be the jolt it needs.

Dal Colle is a different player than Beauvillier. He may not be as quick of foot, but his net-front presence, his ability to redirect pucks, his heavy wrist shot, and his 6’3″ 219lbs frame are all elements that Beau doesn’t have.

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It’s still hard to know what the New York Islanders got with Michael Dal Colle, but he’s been making steady progress this season by applying himself the way the coaching staff has asked him too. Maybe his buddy Josh Ho-Sang should take a page out of Dal Colle’s book.

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