Mike and Dan catch up with NHL.com editor and all around Islanders luminary Brian Compton to remember Michael Dal Colle, a high first round pick who took the long road to become a fine defensive forward.
With a pedigree that included bushels of goals and a Memorial Cup, Dal Colle seemed like the perfect pick for the still building Islanders. But before he could take his place on John Tavares’s wing, the young forward would experience a series of demoralizing setbacks. Whether it was injuries, getting cut from Team Canada or frustrating slumps, Dal Colle just couldn’t catch a break for years. Then a funny thing happened: he emerged from the minors as a defensive wizard, helping lock down other teams and playing a key role in the Islanders two recent semifinal seasons (albeit mostly in the regular season).
Compton walks us through his interactions with Dal Colle during his time covering the Islanders, and tells us what Dal Colle was expected to be and how he changed his game over time. We also talk about how Dal Colle’s family played a huge role in his story, which is still ongoing as he tours Europe on a number of teams.
Thanks again to BComp for coming on. While he’s not on the Islanders everyday beat anymore, his presence and influence is still all over Islanders Twitter, blogs and podcasts. And yes, the Mets are still ruining his life.
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WEIRD BONUS MATERIAL!
- Long before he was drafted, Dal Colle faced a lot of adversity. His brother’s special needs as well as a cancer diagnosis for his mom forced him to grow up quickly, in his own words.
- His trade to Kingston in his final junior year was a huge deal, but the Frontenacs lost in the second round.
- Dal Colle was drafted fifth overall by the Islanders in 2014. That was right where Central Scouting had him as well as other prospect watchers. Dom even got the pick right in the SBN mock draft. He certainly looked like the right pick (and said the right things) at the time.
- He followed his drafting up with two more outstanding seasons in Junior, including starring for the Memorial Cup champion Oshawa Generals in 2015.
- The next season was one of many setbacks for him: cut from Islanders camp, slumping, injured, cut from Team Canada before the World Junior Championship, then traded to Kingston, who lost in Round 2.
- It’s hard to summarize the Michael Dal Colle Islanders experience but this does a pretty good job. It took a long time for him to come up and make himself an NHL regular.
- Five years after he was drafted, Dal Colle finally scored his first NHL goal in January of 2019.
- After being billed as an offensive weapon for years, Dal Colle finally found a niche on the defensive end of the ice.
- He could occasionally flash those offensive instincts. He even got top line minutes with Lee and Barzal once upon a time.
- Since leaving the Islanders, Dal Colle has embarked on a European tour, playing with TPS in Finland and most recently with the awesomely named Iserlohn Roosters in Germany. In 2022, he said he goal was to get back to the NHL.
What makes a “Weird Islander?”
We’re always open to suggestions about other Weird Islanders to discuss. Remember the criteria. Candidates must fulfill one of the two of the following:
- Played one (1) season or less for the Islanders or very short stints over multiple seasons.
- Be a veteran NHLer who is not generally associated with his time on Islanders.
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