The end has finally come for Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang with the Islanders

The end has finally come for the Islanders with Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang.

Yesterday reports came out that neither player was on the list of players to receive qualifying offers thus marking the end of both their tenures with the organization.

Ho-Sang and Dal Colle had their moments with the Islanders but neither lived up to the expectations that came with where they were drafted. Dal Colle only appeared in 111 games with the Isles over four seasons and produced 29 points. Ho-Sang played in just 53 games over two seasons, resulting in seven goals and 17 assists.

Both players being left to find new homes marks the conclusion of two of the biggest “what ifs” for the Islanders in recent memory. Particularly, Ho-Sang. From the moment he first donned an Islander jersey, it was marred by controversy.

When Ho-Sang was drafted, Islanders general manager Garth Snow sat at the dais with the TSN crew at the NHL Draft to discuss the organization’s pick of him. What came next took everyone by surprise. “He’ll fit right in, they shit on me too,” Snow said when asked about his decision to draft Ho-Sang.

That one moment was a coup for Snow — well mostly from his club’s lone fanbase — with the consensus being Ho-Sang was a potential steal for how he ended up falling into the Isles’ lap. Going into the draft, the Toronto native was considered an elite talent and might have gone in the top ten if not for some — how should we put this lightly — “attitude problems”.

We would learn over time those concerns were warranted, as Ho-Sang lacked the maturity it took to make it in the NHL. There were plenty of incidents — some public, some not — that just made things untenable and earned him a rough reputation in and outside the organization. The last three years alone, Ho-Sang only got to play in ten games and the organization even loaned him to Europe for this past season after leaving him off the roster to begin training camp.

Then there’s Dal Colle, Snow’s selection before Ho-Sang — although this one in the top-five — which had more importance and less backlash. Dal Colle was selected by the Islanders with the fifth pick and was projected to be the scoring winger the franchise had been yearning for to skate alongside franchise center John Tavares.

Unfortunately, the latter never occurred. Dal Colle took much longer to develop in the minors than many had hoped and never showed that offensive power he did in juniors at the pro level. He did find some success as a bottom-six forward under head coach Barry Trotz in recent years but never adding anything more in terms of value.

Dal Colle’s departure does open the door for a few other players — Kieffer Bellows, Anatoli Golyshev (both qualified) — to fight for a regular role for next season. That being said, he and Ho-Sang now can get a fresh start somewhere else. They’re each still young (25) and talented enough to carve out NHL careers.

Dal Colle and Ho-Sang not panning out with the Isles after how much was expected of them when they were drafted is sad. A lot of people were rooting for them to succeed. But things just never moved past a certain level for either of them. And now they’re both gone.

 

New York Islanders: Expectations for Michael Dal Colle

Michael Dal Colle, New york Islanders

The New York Islanders took Michael Dal Colle with the 5th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Dal Colle absolutely ripped up the OHL. He even put up 93 points the year he was drafted. There’s an old expression to explain Dal Colle’s current play, “life comes at you fast.”

It’s safe to say Michael Dal Colle is a complete bust and will never pan out to be the top 5 pick that the Islanders thought he was. But, this doesn’t mean he can’t serve a big purpose on the team. What are the expectations for Michael Dal Colle during the 2020-2021 season?

Become a Top 9 Forward

Michael Dal Colle should have a few goals in mind this year, but this one is the biggest for him. Dal Colle must beat out Leo Komarov or Andrew Ladd for the final forward spot. Every Islander fan knows there are just two forward spots up for grabs this year.

One is the left-wing on the third line, and the other one is the right-wing on the third line. I assume Kieffer Bellows or Oliver Wahlstrom will take the right-wing spot. This leaves the left-wing spot in play for anyone to take it. Dal Colle must take this spot, it will boost his career momentum a ton.

Join the PK Unit

Everyone knows that Dal Colle only still has a spot because of his defensive play. This fact just makes it stranger that Dal Colle isn’t on the penalty kill. I don’t know if it’s the fact that Barry Trotz just doesn’t trust him enough or that there are millions of better players than him. But, this should be one of Dal Colle’s major goals this season. He needs to join the penalty kill unit. If he can prove his worth on this unit, he can surely make another team when his contract ends.

New York Islanders: Lineup Changes for Game 2

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders got whipped last night against the Lightning. You can blame this on lack of rest, or just being out talented. There’s no room for mistakes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Changes must be made to the lineup. The Islanders need to make several changes and take game 2. Also, I will not be tackling the decision at the goalie spot just because it could be either-or.

Ross Johnston Out

I am not the biggest Ross Johnston fan, and it’s well documented. I mean, JG Pageau does the same thing, and he’s like 5 inches smaller and 60 pounds lighter. Ross Johnston doesn’t have the speed to help out the defense if they get caught on a 3v2. Johnston doesn’t play on the power-play kill. Johnston isn’t making momentum-swinging hits or fights happen. Either Tom Kuhnhackl or Michael Dal Colle should take Johnston’s spot. Kuhnhackl provides a ton of offense and forechecks with the best of them. While Dal Colle is solid in the neutral zone and is relatively fresh. The Islanders haven’t allowed a goal in the Playoffs when Dal Colle plays. One of those two must take Johnston’s spot.

Leo Komarov In

Leo Komarov is a player most teams don’t think they need, but in reality, they need him. Komarov is a grinder and plays on the power-play kill, which the Islanders need help on. The Islanders can’t allow Victor Hedman to score three power-play goals a game. Komarov will lay it all out on the line if it means he can raise that Stanley Cup. Komarov also creates offense and gets his linemates in a good position to score.

Andy Greene gets Fewer Minutes

Andy Greene has been a very inconsistent player for the Isles during the playoffs. One game, he scores from the point, and poke checks everything. Other games, he takes multiple penalties and provides too many opportunities for the other team. I don’t believe that Johnny Boychuk or Noah Dobson should take his spot, but Greene needs to earn his 17 minutes a night. The Isles are deep in the playoffs, there’s no room for error.

New York Islanders: Who Should be the 3rd Line Left-Winger?

ross johnston, New York Islanders

The current 3rd line left winger for the New York Islanders is Michael Dal Colle. The Islanders drafted OHL star Michael Dal Colle with the 5th overall pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft. There was no reason to not draft Dal Colle that high. His stats were amazing; Dal Colle recorded 90+ points two years in a row. Somewhere along the road, Dal Colle lost his way. It took him five years to actually make the team and six years to have a real spot. Dal Colle doesn’t provide offense, which is the thing the Isles drafted him for, he just forechecks. Most of the time, it feels like Dal Colle is just skating around out there and not doing anything. There are many other options for the 3rd line left-wingers spot whose names aren’t Michael Dal Colle.

Tom Kuhnhackl

Tom Kuhnhackl was fantastic for the Islanders during their play-in matchup against the Florida Panthers. His forechecking was magnificent, and due to this, Kuhnhackl created countless high scoring chances. JG Pageau’s goal in the first game wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Kuhnhackl pressuring the defenseman. Kuhnhackl’s passing was on full display during this series too. No Islander fan could forget Kuhnhackl’s through the legs pass to a Matt Martin tap in goal. Kuhnhackl deserves the spot more than anyone else on the team right now. His current play, mixed with his 2 Stanley Cup wins, gives him a leg up on the competition.

Ross Johnston

Who doesn’t love the enforcer, Ross Johnston? Probably not Tom Wilson, but that’s a different story. Johnston does his job, and he does it with maximum effort. He knows he’s there to backcheck, hip-check, forecheck, and then he gets to pick up the paycheck. Johnston is also not a bad skater for a big man. While he doesn’t have amazing speed, Johnston can hop up on the 3v2 rush. If Barry Trotz wants the hits to start coming against the Flyers, Johnston is your man for sure.

Derick Brassard

I don’t believe Brassard did anything wrong vs the Capitals. He isn’t the same player he once was, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a solid winger. He can also win the faceoff when Pageau gets kicked from the center position. Brassard just doesn’t give as much offense as Kuhnhackl or Johnston, but he gives a lot more than Dal Colle.

Conclusion

There are a plethora of wingers that should take Dal Colle’s spot, and for good reason. The Isles are real contenders for the first time in decades, and cannot put people like Dal Colle out there. There’s only so much room for error, and the Isles cannot make mistakes.

New York Islanders: Cole Coskey is the Next Big Thing

Cole Coskey, New York Islanders

The New York Islanders drafted forward Cole Coskey in the 7th round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. After being drafted, Coskey would return to his OHL team, the Saginaw Spirit. Coskey broke out this year and put himself on the radar for Islanders fans. The Islanders did not offer Coskey a contract after drafting him, but just recently, they did. The Islanders have a gem on their hands unless their AHL coach Brent Thompson ruins another prospect.

Time with Saginaw Spirit

Cole Coskey is a huge part of Saginaw’s history. Coskey has been a part of the organization since he was 15 years old. Dave Drinkill, the general manager of Saginaw, said, “Coskey grew up right in front of our very eyes.” Not only did Coskey have a great 2019, but he set records for Saginaw. Coskey is the leader in games played all-time for Saginaw with 302. Coskey is also third all-time in points for Saginaw with 235, third all-time in goals for Saginaw with 106, and 4th all-time in assists with 129. Do not expect this kind of production in the NHL or even the AHL, but it’s still very exciting to see.

When will Coskey be Ready?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Prospects, especially late-round picks, vary on their development time. This also depends on the coaching of the AHL team. Brent Thompson is not the guy for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Thompson has done players like Kieffer Bellows, Mitch Vande Sompel, and Parker Wotherspoon, all a disservice. ¬†Despite this, Coskey is a very solid two-way winger, and that will only help him shine in Trotz’s system. If Coskey can keep up his production, he will be an undeniable pull-up. At best, Coskey is a Nazem Kadri/Erik Haula. At worst, he’s a Michael Dal Colle. I give it 2-3 years before he’s fully ready for the NHL.

Conclusion

The thing with the OHL is that it’s not hard to be good. Michael Dal Colle, who was supposed to be the next great winger for the Isles, recorded 95 points in 2013. Dal Colle is a nothing player now. This isn’t discounting how good Coskey could be, though. It’s merely just a “don’t get your hopes high up.” Cole Coskey is a diamond in the rough for this Islanders team, and Islanders fans will hopefully get to see him play soon.