Michael Dal Colle THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 6/20/1996
Place of birth: Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 172 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
THW War Room Rankings (April): 5
Craig Button: 5
It seems Richmond Hill, Ontario is producing some top notch talent. Michael Dal Colle joins Sam Bennett as another Richmond Hill-native to be a top prospect in this year’s entry draft. Oddly enough, both can find themselves as top five picks come late June in Philadelphia.
Dal Colle is a rangy, gifted center with hands that can dangle in a phone booth. He dazzles with the puck on his stick and can weave through defenses with ease. Given his stickhandling ability, Dal Colle is also one of the premier set-up men available. He knows where his teammates are at all times and passes with precision. His skill also comes with a mesmerizing wrist shot that he isn’t afraid to use. His wrister is fast, accurate, and deadly. And although he doesn’t use his slap shot as often, that too is lethal for opposing goalies.
As the season progressed, his defensive play started to improve from the beginning of the year. Perhaps that had to do with playing on a line with Scott Laughton who is a solid defensive forward in his own right. But it wouldn’t hurt to be more pronounced in the defensive aspects of hockey.
Overall, Michael Dal Colle is going to be a very good player for years to come in the NHL. The size is there; the skill is there; the potential is there. All he has to do is play to his strengths and he will reek havoc in the league on the scoresheet. Down the road, it wouldn’t shock me if he turns out to be the best forward taken in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Where Will He End Up In June:
Michael Dal Colle has the size and skill to be a top five pick. Whether he’s chosen in the top five is yet to be determined and relies on how teams value Dal Colle in their organization moving forward. I don’t think he slips out of the top seven picks and definitely not out of the top 10.
“Oshawa’s prized sophomore forward will never be mistaken for a dynamic speedster, but Michael Dal Colle just continues to get things done. The 6-foot-2 forward is capable of playing both centre and the wing and possesses impressive puck protection skills and offensive zone creativity that project well on his ability to be a big-time producer at the next level. Dal Colle’s top-end speed is an area of continued improvement, but his elusiveness, stickhandling ability, and long reach create matchup problems for any OHL defenseman. Dal Colle has always been a dangerous goal scorer but has really become a great playmaker as he does a great job of finding open teammates and making some impressive feeds.“
“The first thing you notice about Michael Dal Colle if you watch him for a full game is his stickhandling ability. It might be the best of any player in this draft. His soft hands are absolutely elite and he can do things with the puck that others only dream of doing. I would grade this as an A+ skill for him. Dal Colle has shown an excellent ability to play the cycle game protecting the puck down low, and making quick, smart passes. When given openings he cane drive the net and show off those soft hands in close, and they give him the ability to beat defenders and goaltenders one-on-one. He’s also a power winger who is strong on his skates and also isn’t afraid to bulldoze through a defender if necessary. Willing to take a hit to make a play, he’s also unfraid to dish them out. Dal Colle can only improve as he adds more strength. He also has a strong and accurate wrist shot.”
Ben Kerr – Last Word On Sports
“Big bodied forward who plays strong on the puck with very good hands, balance, and power to his stride. Life-long centre currently being asked to play wing. He is good along the wall and clogs the front in anticipation of teammate’s shots. Good passer with a longer reach and solid in his own zone. Solid 200 foot player whose frame looks to get thicker and make him even more of a load on the wall and in the slot. Far from the finished product, but reads the ice well and distributes the puck well on the attack. Final rank will be closely tied with how he develops by the draft.“
Bill Placzek – Draftsite.com
Dal Colle has played for Team Canada twice (U17 World Hockey Championships and U18 Hlinka Memorial Tournament) where he has 10 points in 10 games played. He also won a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 5/5
Top six center capable of playing any role
Very smooth stickhandling ability
Plays well along the boards
Laser of a wrist shot
Vision and hockey sense
Seems to be in the right position in the offensive zone
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
He could use some extra weight on his skinny frame
His defensive play has been better of late, but still could use more work to fully round out his game
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 9/10 Defensive: 3/10
NHL Player Comparison:
– NHL comparison: Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal
THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph
Follow Shawn on Twitter: @ShawnTHW