It’s been a tough season for the 5th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Michael Dal Colle. But he’s being given a fresh start after being traded from the Oshawa Generals to the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) on Friday.
Kingston GM Doug Gilmour sent quite a package back to Oshawa to land the prized forward. He sent 16-year-old Robbie Burt, Kingston’s 1st round draft pick from April, and four draft picks to Oshawa, including a second in 2017 (Flint’s), a third in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2022.
Dal Colle, a New York Islanders draft pick and Oshawa captain, has been dogged by trade rumors throughout the season and it hasn’t been a great season to boot. After scoring 42 goals and 93 points in 56 games last year, he had just eight goals and 25 points in 30 games for the Oshawa Generals. He was even better than this in his draft year when he posted 39 goals and 95 points in 67 games for Oshawa.
Add in that he suffered a groin injury early in the season and then he was cut from the Team Canada roster for the 2016 World Junior Championship during selection camp and it’s been a very tough year for the 6-foot-3 forward.
A fresh start in Kingston a little over half way through the season may be just what the hockey doctor ordered. He played his first game as a Frontenac on Friday, scoring two goals and an assist, helping them to a 5-3 win over the Peterborough Petes.
“He’s got elite skill set, he’s a great kid and he’s a winner,” said Kingston coach Paul MacFarland, who coached Dal Colle while he was an assistant coach in Oshawa. “He’s a great addition to our hockey team. He’s got a lot of playoff experience, knows what it takes to win down the stretch. He’s a first-class kid who will fit in great with the rest of our players.”
He should get a good opportunity to succeed with Kingston, who sits at the top of their division in the OHL. They’re stocking up and hoping to making a run with a roster that includes Lawson Crouse (FLA), Spencer Watson (LAK), Juho Lammikko (FLA), Stephen Desrocher (TOR) and Roland McKeown (CAR). Three of those players (Crouse, Lammikko and McKeown) are currently away playing at World Juniors.
Kingston sent a significant package to acquire Dal Colle and when combined with the picks they sent to Oshawa to acquire Desrocher back in November, Kingston has sent 10 draft picks (two are conditional on Desrocher playing an overage season) to Oshawa this year, grabbing two of Oshawa’s key remaining pieces from last year’s Memorial Cup win.
Burt was selected 10th overall in the Priority Selection. He had two goals and four points in 24 games this season with Kingston. He played his first game with Oshawa in an afternoon match with the Sudbury Wolves on Friday.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.