As the Islanders prepare to end their bye break, a trio of recalls from AHL Bridgeport includes one surprise: Michael Dal Colle, their first-round pick (5th overall) from 2014.
Dal Colle is coming up along with Sebastian Aho and Anthony Beauvillier, who played in the Islanders’ last game and were then sent to the Sound Tigers to get game action during the break.
For Dal Colle, it represents the possibility of making his NHL debut. He is one of only two players from the first round of the 2014 NHL draft yet to appear in a regular season NHL game.
Anxious Isles fans might be tempted to see the moves as part of a wave of needed changes after the team stunk throughout December and January — something we discussed on the latest Islanders Anxiety podcast — but really the moves are due to injuries to core players.
Josh Bailey, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk were all out injured as the Isles headed into the break. Replacing those two forwards (whose recalls are “emergency basis” with a rookie who hasn’t exactly lit up the AHL (Dal Colle has 5 goals, 13 assists in 34 games this season with Bridgeport) and a second-year NHLer who has struggled most of this season isn’t exactly the kind of shakeup that is needed.
(And that’s without getting into how this is another obstacle for Joshua Ho-Sang, demoted two months ago and scratched from the most recent AHL game.)
Howeeeeeeeverrr, if Dal Colle and Beauvillier play and show a pulse — Beauvillier had a nice performance in his one-game emergency recall Sunday — then maaaaaybe that induces the Isles to consider mixing up the bottom six that has been one of their biggest shortcomings all season.
As for the chances of any or all three playing Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden or Monday in Montreal, here’s the health report before they return to practice, from Arthur Staple of Newsday:
First call-up for Dal Colle, the 5th pick in 2014. Emergency conditions mean that he and Beau will only play if Bailey/Ladd can’t go. Aho recall may mean Boychuk still isn’t ready. Bailey almost certainly still out, Ladd TBD.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) January 11, 2018