Islanders prospect Michael Dal Colle, who has been dogged by trade rumors during an especially difficult season on the ice, was finally dealt by the Oshawa Generals to the Kingston Frontenacs this morning.
In exchange for their captain, the Generals acquire winger Robbie Burt, two second round picks and two third round picks in four upcoming OHL Drafts between 2017 and 2022.
Dal Colle leaves the Generals with 261 points (104 goals and 157 assists) in 216 games and a Memorial Cup victory last season over Kelowna. He was named captain before this season, just after he was cut by the Islanders in training camp.
Drafted fifth overall by the Islanders in 2014, this season has been a parade of setbacks for Dal Colle. After being one of the last cuts from NHL camp, his return to Oshawa started with a slump, then was further hampered by a particularly painful injury to his groin. He went on a mini hot streak (10 points in five games) in November before being invited to Hockey Canada's World Junior camp, from which he was eventually cut in his final year of tournament eligibility.
The 19-year-old obviously has a lot of road ahead of him in his career, but he's seen more than his share of adversity this season. Oshawa GM Roger Hunt has nothing but good things to say about Dal Colle as a player and a person.
"He has meant an incredible amount to the community and our organization. He will always have a special place in the Oshawa Generals organization."
Dal Colle joins a Kingston team that's currently in first place in the OHL's Eastern Division after beating Oshawa on Wednesday. The Frontenacs, under GM Doug Gilmour, have made a couple of deals with the Generals this season already, and they're excited to add another.
Combined with the picks used to acquire Stephen Desrocher from Oshawa in early November, the Frontenacs have now sent 10 draft picks (two are conditional should Desrocher play an overage season) to the Generals for the two 19-year-olds, who were both key members of Oshawa's Memorial Cup victory.
Head coach Paul McFarland, who coached Dal Colle for two years when he was an assistant coach for then Oshawa coach D.J. Smith, said Dal Colle was "one of the best players int he league."
"He's got elite skill set, he's a great kid and he's a winner," McFarland said.
The first half of the 2015-16 season has been one to forget for Dal Colle, but fortunately he gets a chance to hit reset and end his junior career on a high note.