Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Hometown: Woodbridge, Ontario
Projected: Top 5
Michael Dal Colle is a powerful two-way player whose hallmarks are good skating and aggressiveness. He boasts a powerful, balanced stride and good hands, using these attributes to take over the tough areas of the ice. Dal Colle is the kind of player that loves to battle for position and you can usually expect to see him along the boards and in front of the net. He is also a very determined player, known for giving a strong effort in all three zones by playing well defensively, making good passes, and being able to put the puck in the net.
If you're looking for a comparison look no further than San Jose's Patrick Marleau. The speed, size, scoring ability, and 200-foot game are staples of both players' style of play.
Dal Colle is very close to being in that upper echelon of players which includes Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, and Aaron Ekblad, and if he has a strong second half of the season, he could find himself climbing further up the ranks. Expect him to be one of the first five players picked in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Oshawa Generals (OHL): 47 GP, 31 G, 39 A, 70 P, 30 PIM, +12
Canada U18 (Hlinka Memorial): 5 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 P, 4 PIM, -1
"Nobody would be surprised if we said five years down the road that Dal Colle would be the best player," [Director of Central Scouting Dan] Marr said. "He's actually in the mix for consideration over the second half. As far as consistency goes he might be the most consistent player among the top five. He's a power forward in the making."
"I'm an offensive-minded player, but I take pride in my defensive play," he said. "Obviously there's no offense without defense. I think I've been able to get off to a strong start offensively and I've been able to develop great chemistry with the guys. I consider myself a two-way player.
"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."
You can see in the players he idolizes and emulates that he's looking to be amongst the NHL's two-way elites one day.
"My favorite player is [Evgeni] Malkin," Dal Colle said. "I think I play more of an Eric Staal type of game, but I really like Malkin and the way he plays. He's a good two-way player, but he's good offensively.
"All of those guys like Staal, [Rick] Nash have the ability to create offensively, but also focus on defense."
--- Michael Dal Colle interview with HockeysFuture.com
Where He Would Fit
Dal Colle's speed, grit, and 200-foot game would fit very well in a Nashville Predators system which is founded upon those very traits. He would also bring a much-needed scoring touch to a team that has not had a player break 60 points since 2008-09.
I wouldn't expect that the Predators will fall low enough to pick him but if they somehow do, they would land a very well-rounded player who could meet some very pressing needs.