In anticipation of the Sharks’ 2014 NHL Draft selection, we will be highlighting the top 30 prospects over the next few weeks.
Name: Michael Dal Colle
Position: Left Wing
Current Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Jersey Number: 71
Weight: 171 lbs.
Hometown: Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
Perhaps overshadowed by the two heralded stars ranked before him for the 2014 NHL Draft is Oshawa forward Michael Dal Colle. Growing up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, the promising young winger knows the excitement of going to NHL games. That’s why Dal Colle aims to perfect his game at the junior level this season, so by the time he is on the other side of the glass in an NHL rink, he can provide the same excitement for fans of his own team. He says he aims to be just as efficient in playing defense as he is at offense.
I’m an offensive-minded player, but I take pride in my defensive play. Obviously there’s no offense without defense. I consider myself a two-way player.
Dal Colle grew up idolizing Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin before even considering playing professional hockey. Today, as he aims to develop himself into NHL stardom, Dal Colle looks up to current Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin because of his combination of offensive and defensive talent, however he thinks he plays a similar game to Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. In addition to NHL stars, he has learned plenty from his ex-Oshawa linemates from last year, Boone Jenner (CBJ) and Tyler Biggs (TOR) as well:
I just tried to emulate them all year last year, not just on the ice but off – they carried themselves so well and they’re just great people, too.
Dal Colle has proven that he does not need his two mentors to guide him to success, for he has already surpassed his point total from last season (48 pts). Through 31 GP so far this season, Dal Colle has scored 20G and 31A for a team-high total of 51 points, with a plus/minus rating of plus-3. Despite his success thus far in the season that matters most, Dal Colle knows there is still a ways to go before he becomes the complete player he aims to be:
To be honest I have to get quicker – you always, always have to get faster. And obviously I want to put on some muscle and increase the physical part of my game – scouts want to see that.
Dal Colle came into the 2013-2014 season knowing what was expected of him – by his teammates, by NHL scouts, and by himself – and so far, he has arguably exceeded expectations. A skilled, two-way, extremely motivated offensive player with a scorer’s touch, Michael Dal Colle is all but guaranteed to hear his name called in the top 5 of the upcoming draft, if not the top 3. He projects to be a top line left-winger in the NHL and is one of the most exciting hockey prospects in all of North America right now.