The Florida Panthers currently hold the #1 overall selection in this years NHL Entry Draft and while this draft isn’t as deep or star studded as past years, there are still some players the Cats could definitely use. Lets take a look at each of the top 5 prospects individually in this years draft according to the scouting service ISS Hockey and see what they could possibly bring to the Panthers. Today we will look at the third ranked prospect in the big power forward for Oshawa, Michael Dal Colle.
In my opinion, Dal Colle is one of the most intriguing forwards in the draft as his primary position is left wing which could fill a huge need for the Panthers. He also has the size that General Manager Dale Tallon loves as he stands at 6′ 2″ and weighs 184 lbs. Dal Colle was selected 7th overall by the Oshawa Generals of the OHL in 2012 and in his first year he put up 48 points in 63 games. While his first year wasn’t exactly great, the 2013-2014 season proved different. Dal Colle posted 39 goals and tagged on 56 assists for a total of 95 points in 67 games. Eliteprospects.com describes Michael as 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.”
- Why he would fit: A winger who can score is a HUGE area of need for the Panthers and Dal Colle would help improve that position. Dal Colle would also add size to the Panthers lineup as he stands at 6’2” and weighs 184lbs and we all know that General Manager Dale Tallon loves players with size. Some people have compared Dal Colle to Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Marleau but Dal Colle sees his game as more of an Eric Staal type. Either way you look at it, the comparisons are promising. Furthermore, he can put the puck in the net. He scored 39 times in the 2013-2104 season and 16 of those were power play goals which the Panthers desperately need.
Panthers Forward Depth ChartLeft WingersCentersRight Wingers
Sean Bergenheim Aleksander Barkov Brad Boyes Jonathan Huberdeau Nick Bjugstad Scottie Upshall Tomas Fleischmann Vincent Trocheck Tomas Kopecky Quinton Howden Drew Shore Bobby Butler Joey Crabb
- Why he wouldn’t fit: Taking Dal Colle at #1 would be a reach I think but if there was a way to trade down and stay in the top 4 I would have no problem taking him. While ISS Hockey ranks him at #3, I have him as the fourth best prospect behind the dynamic Sam Bennett. Another thing that somewhat concerns me is that while looking at his stats I noticed he was only in the OHL for two seasons and only one of them really stood out. Hopefully he isn’t a one year wonder for whoever drafts him.
What do you think about Dal Colle? Should the Panthers take him at #1? Should they trade down and pick him? Let us know in the comments section as your input is very much appreciated. Follow @FANSIDEDTHERAT and check back here for all your Florida Panthers news.