Michael Dal Colle only has four points on the season for the New York Islanders. The former fifth overall pick from 2014, has found it tough to generate the same type of production that he was putting at the junior level – and even recently in the AHL – at the NHL level.
Since making the jump to the NHL, Dal Colle just hasn’t been able to find the back of the net, or help his teammates do that. It just hasn’t been a productive transition for Dal Colle.
But we know that if you play the right way, the production might not be there, but it won’t be far off.
The points are coming for New York Islanders forward Michael Dal Colle
We saw that with Oliver Wahlstrom earlier in the year. The Islanders rookie was playing well away from the puck, not just defensively but even in the O-Zone. He was finding lanes and attacking open space, but the production wasn’t there.
The same is happening with Michael Dal Colle at the moment. He’s not putting up points, but he’s finding ways to help his team put up goals.
Case and point is his work on Josh Bailey‘s goal against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Watch how he draws two defenders from the slot and away from the front of the net by driving to the far post. Without that movement, Josh Bailey doesn’t have the type of real-estate he had to unleash that shot and get what was then a game-tieing goal.
Over the last six games, Dal Colle has seen some key underlying numbers trend in the right direction. His 5on5 Fenwick-for % (shots on net and missed shots) has been consistently over 50% and his expected-goals-for % has consistently been over 60%.
Both metrics show that when Dal Colle is out on the ice the Isles are getting more pucks towards the opposition net than their opponents and the quality of shots taken are much higher. Both tend to translate into future performance.
(All stats from NaturalStatTrick)
Now, this doesn’t mean Dal Colle is about to have an explosion of production like Oliver Wahlstrom. But it’s easy to see him start putting up production at a 35 point pace over 82 games. That’s about a point every third game or so (0.427 Pts/G). He’s currently producing at a 16 point pace (0.2 Pts/G). The points are coming for Dal Colle.