Islanders activate Michael Dal Colle off IR give Ilya Sorokin start

New York Islanders Michael Dal Colle (28) (Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders Michael Dal Colle (28) (Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports) /

One of the big questions facing the New York Islanders head of their matchup against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday was who would play on the third line. At practice, Barry Trotz used Oliver Wahlstrom instead of Kieffer Bellows, which sent a nod to the fanbase that the 2018 first-rounder with a world-class shot may get his first game of 2021.

But that wasn’t the case. Instead, Michael Dal Colle (a fifth-overall pick from 2014) was activated off IR a slotted on the third line next to Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ross Johnston.

Dal Colle hasn’t skated yet in 2021 and is coming off a poor year in 19-20. In 53 games, Dal Colle scored ten points. In the playoffs, Dal Colle skated in three games for the Isles. Clearly indicated his value on the roster.

Hopefully, Dal Colle can step and provide the Isles something from a third line that has been rarely used through the first four games of the regular season.

New York Islanders hand Ilya Sorokin the reigns for the second time in 2021

After a disastrous start to his NHL career against the New York Rangers, Ilya Sorokin has been told he will start the game against the Devils.

The Russian netminder (and a third-round pick in 2014) has shown incredible talent and abilities playing in Russia. We’re all waiting to see that talent and ability here in North America. I’m sure now that Sorokin has had time get ready for this start rather than coming in at the last second when Semyon Varlamov was injured in warm-ups last week he’ll be able to show us exactly what he can do at the NHL level.

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Fans may not like the decision to start Michael Dal Colle over someone like Kieffer Bellows or Oliver Wahlstrom, but it might make sense with the way Trotz has been using his lineup lately.

Over the last two games, the Islanders head coach has been essentially using three lines with Pageau floating throughout the lineup. We know that Dal Colle may not give much offensively but he’s trusted defensively and in Trotz’s system, that matters. And look, if he’s only getting around ten minutes there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.