The annual SB Nation NHL mock draft is underway, with each SB Nation NHL site selecting a player for the team they are cursed to cover. You can follow along here with the mock draft's progress over the next nine days.
The first four picks took the expected top four off the table -- with Calgary taking Reinhart The Younger -- so it should be no shock to you that we stuck to the board with Michael Dal Colle.
No reaches for the enticing William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers or other such possibilities, though if the real-world Islanders hold on to the fifth-overall pick you could imagine them taking someone like that, or someone else. In the history of the SB Nation mock draft, we haven't pegged their pick correctly.
Still, Dal Colle's sniping ability on the wing is something the Islanders haven't had much access to in the draft, so here's to hoping he's a little more Kyle Okposo and a little less Nino Niederreiter. (Well, I mean, here's to hoping that if the Isles actually pick him.)
At 6'2 but only 170+ lbs., Dal Colle has a good frame with room to add on, and he hasn't shied away from "the dirty areas." He finished sixth in the OHL in scoring last season -- the highest among 2014 draft eligible players -- taking over as Oshawa's top weapon.
People like his hockey sense and overall game, so this is a "safe" pick: Even if he doesn't turn out to be a top-scoring winger in the NHL, he's a good bet to become a strong top-six-worthy winger. But he gets his share of raves:
Dal Colle has received comparisons to the likes of Patrick Marleau and Evgeni Malkin, but he compares himself to Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal because he has the ability to create offense while staying focused on his own-zone responsibilities.
Here’s what Elite Prospects had to say about Dal Colle prior to the 2013-14 season:
"Dal Colle is a bull who uses his natural talents well. He's got an imposing frame and already shows great balance and strength on his skates. He plays a two-way game, battles hard and displays quick hands for his size."
I'm fine with all of that, of course. But I'm also inherently skeptical -- or at least only minimally interested -- in the hype for any prospect until they are actually in an Islanders uniform and taking names.
Anyway, there has already been plenty of thought-provoking discussion of the draft around here, including this mock draft that praised Nylander, and this stat comparable analysis that shares some concerns about Dal Colle and praises Ehlers.
So carry on. Our history is unreliable, even when we pick high:
- In 2013 we selected Alexander Wennberg at 15 (the Isles selected Ryan Pulock, and Wennberg was selected the pick prior).
- In 2012 we selected Alex Galchenyuk, who was sadly already gone in the real-world draft (the Isles took the middle Reinhart).
- In 2011 we selected Dougie Hamilton (the Isles passed on Hamilton and took Ryan Strome).
- In 2010 we selected Erik Gudbranson, who was already gone in the real world (but Cam Fowler, who wasn't, was already gone in the fake world). Instead, the Isles took some Swiss guy whose name escapes me.
- In 2009, we selected John Tavares (duh!) and then Tim Erixon at 26. Turns out the Islanders would instead trade up twice from 26 and pick Calvin de Haan, who frankly looks like the smart move in comparison.
The moral of the story: The Islanders won't pick Dal Colle, because we already did.