Before the season, we were surprised to find out that Michael Dal Colle landed on IR. The Islanders weren’t very open with what happened to Dal Colle, and where the injury came from but according to the coach, he could make his return soon.
In a zoom with the media, Barry Trotz confirmed that Michael Dal Colle is “real close” to making his return from IR. For what it’s worth, Dal Colle skated with JG Pageau and Kieffer Bellows in practice today.
Ross Johnston, who was filling in on the third line, skated as an extra with Oliver Wahlstrom and Leo Komarov. So if and when Dal Colle is healthy, one can anticipate him making a return to the lineup.
Last year, the former top-five pick from 2014 played in 53 regular season games for New York. He had 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) over that span and averaged 11:48 of ice time playing on the third line.
In the playoffs, Dal Colle played in just three games and averaged under 10 minutes of ice time. It appeared like he was falling out of favor with the coaching staff due to his lack of usage in the return to play.
Now, with Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston combining for roughly 13 minutes of ice time yesterday it would be assumed that Dal Colle is likely to slot in for one of them (Johnston) to “complete” the line.
The logic behind having both Matt Martin and Johnston in the lineup was flawed, to begin with so it makes sense for him to be the odd man out. As for Dal Colle’s impact on that line, it’s not a needle jumper.
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He doesn’t play on special teams but should be a slight upgrade over what Johnston gave the Islanders the past three games. Islanders fans will have to wait for Oliver Wahlstrom to get that shot it appears.