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Dal Colle Adds Depth, Character

The Islanders addressed their wing depth and drafted a high-character guy in Michael Dal Colle.

Friday, 06.27.2014 / 11:59 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Dal Colle Adds Depth, Character
The Islanders addressed their wing depth and drafted a high-character guy in Michael Dal Colle.

Trying to sit still in the seats at Wells Fargo Center four picks into the 2014 NHL Draft, Michael Dal Colle had a feeling he was moments away from becoming a New York Islander.

As the Islanders management took the stage, Dal Colle turned to his father, Gus, and quietly disclosed his gut feeling, adding that he wanted to wind up on Long Island with fellow Oshawa Generals alumni John Tavares and Calvin de Haan.

“I kind of had a gut feeling I would go here if I were available and it worked out great,” Dal Colle said shortly after his prediction came to fruition. Fitted in a new, Islanders-blue uniform with his name freshly minted on the back, he added, “It’s amazing, a dream come true. They are a very young team, up and coming. I’ll add to a good young, core group of guys.”

Most fans and pundits agreed that the standout winger, who was the Ontario Hockey League’s fifth-leading scorer,

would be snatched up – if available – by the Islanders. Dal Colle scored 95 points (39 goals, 56 assists) in 67 games with the Generals and added 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 12 playoff games, the highest total of any player who didn’t qualify for the finals.

“Drafting a player of Michael’s caliber is another building block in what is an important offseason for the organization,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We’re excited to see him develop into another key piece of our core. Michael has top-end offensive skill, paired with two-way instincts and hockey sense, which are assets we are thrilled to add to the Islanders.”

My whole family is what drives me every day. I am definitely a family-oriented guy everything I do in hockey is for them.Michael Dal Colle

Dal Colle was slotted as the fifth-highest North American skater by central scouting and was the top-rated winger in the draft. The Islanders prospect pool is deep with defensemen (Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock, Ville Pokka) and centers (Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson), but the team had not drafted a winger since John Persson in the fifth round of the 2011 draft.

“The one weakness, prospect-wise, positionally that we needed to address was on the wing,” Snow said. He later traded for another first-round pick and selected winger Josh Ho-Sang with the 28th overall pick.

Dal Colle played center throughout minor hockey in Ontario before switching to the wing with the Generals. His father said that his son thinks like a center, which is what makes him an effective two-way player on the wing.

“He’s a very intelligent player,” The senior Dal Colle said. “He sees the ice exceptionally well. He’s got great playmaking skills and can finish. I think he’ll be a very good compliment going forward with the Islanders.”

While Dal Colle is a standout player on the ice, he’s also a standup person off of it. He’s a family-oriented guy, whose maturity and perspective are shaped by an autistic brother and a brave mother who battled and beat breast cancer. He cites them as his biggest role model and his biggest hero.

“My whole family is what drives me every day,” Dal Colle said. “I am definitely a family-oriented guy. Everything I do in hockey is for them.”

Snow and Head Coach Jack Capuano constantly covet “high-character guys” and have found one in Dal Colle.

“Michael is a wonderful kid,” his father said. “He’s never given us any problems, he’s very respectful, he takes a lot of responsibility, he’s faced a lot of adversity and he has a lot of character. I think he’ll make the Islanders proud.”

Michael was joined by 35 friends and family and had one of the largest receptions at the draft. He looked calm, poised and collected during his first NHL media scrum, but said he was overwhelmed with emotion when he heard his name called on the draft floor.

Even with astute intuition, it’s hard to prepare for a life-changing moment like being drafted to the NHL.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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