With the 5th overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft, I think the New York Islanders should select Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals in the OHL.
This 17 year old primarily plays LW but can also play C. He is ranked 5th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting rankings. Most scouts seem to rate him or Leon Draisaitl as the best wing in the draft.
New York Islanders Prospect Overview
The Islanders have a strong prospect pool with a lot of players already making a mark in the NHL. One position where they are lacking any notable prospects is LW. Hockey's Future only lists 3 players at that position in their system and none of them have a particularly high rating. Dal Colle would fill that void with another extremely talented young player to compliment all the potential stars they have at C, RW and D.
Even on the Islanders NHL roster, there is a lack of a top end LW. They might remedy this by bringing back Matt Moulson as a UFA, but Josh Bailey has been somewhat disappointing since being drafted 9th overall in 2008 and the other left wings currently listed on the roster are Mat Martin, Casey Cizikas and Eric Boulton. This all points towards Dal Colle as being exactly what the Islanders need.
About Michael Dal Colle
Reading some scouting reports on Dal Colle, he seems to be every scout's dream forward who has a large frame (6'2, 172 pounds), high end scoring talent, a great two-way game and hockey IQ.
Here are some quotes about him:
He quietly goes about his business, not flashy but always good. He kills penalties and plays the point on the power play. Dal Colle is a versatile guy. He's fluid and capable of scoring big goals. He's going to be a really good pro.
-Chris Edwards of NHL Central Scouting
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.
[his] soft hands are absolutely elite and he can do things with the puck that others only dream of doing. I would grade this as an A+ skill for him.
-Ben Kerr of The Last Words On Sports
Dal Colle seems to have the talent and skillset to be a top-6 winger in the NHL. It's hard to know how quickly he could make the jump but one would imagine he needs another year or two to fill out and develop into a true power forward in the OHL or AHL.
Where Would He Fit With The Wild?
If there's one thing the Wild need, it's goals and Dal Salle seems to be able to score them. Unfortunately, if they were going to trade up in the draft to get him, it wouldn't make much sense. The Wild are in win-now mode and adding a teenager who is probably still a year or two away from the NHL at the cost of pieces that can help them in the present would be crazy.
As a player, I think Dal Colle would be a great fit with the Wild as he seems to be that smart, two-way player that Mike Yeo and Chuck Fletcher seem to love. Scouting reports seem to suggest he is like Charlie Coyle but with more high end talent. The Wild's best LW prospects are Jason Zucker, Mario Lucia and Raphael Bussieres so Dal Colle would easily be the best of that group if the Wild were to draft him.
What do you think, Wilderness? Leave your thoughts in the comment section and make sure to check out the other editions in this series and look out for tomorrow's.