2012 NHL Draft Spotlight: Michael Dal Colle
Dal Colle is without a doubt the most intelligent, two way player in the 96 age group. Dating back years ago, he was widely considered to be the best player in his age group, and although others have caught up to him, he has really diversified his game over the past few years.
Dal Colle is a centre who brings all the projectable tools that you look for in a potential franchise forward at the next level. He is at his best with the puck in the offensive zone, reading the play and either using his large frame to drive the net, or making a crisp pass. He is at his best around the net, and may be the best pure finisher in the age group. If he has the puck within 5 ft of the net, odds are its going in. He also is a responsible, two way player who supports his defenceman by supporting them in puck battles or helping with coverage in his own zone. He is not overly physical, however his is more then willing to use his body to protect pucks down low and along the boards, cycling it, getting it into open space, and then making an intelligent decision.
Dal Colle’s one area for improvement is his mobility. He is not a poor skater, however he lacks that ‘extra’ gear that so many top end offensive forwards have. He has good but not great footwork, and nees to continue to work on maximizing his skating stride and improving his first few steps. He is reportedly working with famed skating coach Barb Underhill to improve, which is an excellent sign.
Dal Colle projects out as an intelligent two way centre with strong finishing abilities. He may be one rookie to make the biggest impact at the ONtario Hockey League next year, mainly due to the team that he was drafted to, as well as his intellegence. He should be a strong four year OHLer, and be a high selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.