Islanders Take Michael Dal Colle Of Oshawa 5th Overall In NHL Draft
New York Islanders
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PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Islanders held onto the No. 5 pick in the NHL draft, and came away with forward Michael Dal Colle on Friday night.
The 18-year-old Ontario native had 39 goals and 56 assists in 67 games this season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-1 winger added eight goals and 12 assists in 12 playoff games. He was chosen for the OHL’s second All-Star team.
Dal Colle joins a young core of forwards with the Islanders, who failed to make the playoffs this season after qualifying in 2013.
“This is dream come true,” Dal Colle said. “I’m excited about our depth. We’re an up-and-coming young team. I’m sure I will fit in really well.
“I already received calls from John Tavares and Kyle Okposo, and a text from Josh Bailey.”
The Islanders not only kept their own first-round selection, but they acquired the 28th choice from the Tampa Bay Lightning for picks No. 35 (2nd round) and No. 57 (3rd round) and chose Joshua Ho-Sang — a forward from Windsor of the OHL.
The Lightning had gotten pick No. 28 from the Rangers in the trade-deadline deal that sent Martin St. Louis to New York and moved Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay.
Ho-Sang led Windsor with 85 points in 67 regular-season games, and tied for the team lead with 32 goals.
But CBS Sports called Ho-Sang a risk.
“Perhaps one of the most divisive prospects available, Ho-Sang’s on-ice abilities are exciting. He has tremendous skill, but an incomplete game and some character concerns impacted his draft stock,” CBS Sports hockey writer Brian Stubits wrote. “He has top-10 caliber puck skills, though.”
During the 2012-13 season, Dal Colle was chosen for the OHL All-Rookie first team after posting 15 goals and 33 assists in 63 games with Oshawa. He also played for Canada-Ontario at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Islanders, who were plagued by injuries last season — the most glaring being a season-ending knee injury for captain Tavares sustained at the Sochi Olympics — went 34-37-11 and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.
“Drafting a player of Michael’s caliber is another building block in what is an important offseason for the organization,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. “We’re excited to see him develop into another key piece of our core. Michael has top-end offensive skill, paired with two-way instincts and hockey sense, which are assets we are thrilled to add to the Islanders.”
Dal Colle was the seventh No. 5 pick in Islanders history. The most recent before Friday was Ryan Strome in 2011, following Nino Niederreiter a year earlier.
“I want to play here next year,” Dal Colle said. “I feel ready.”
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils got pick No. 30 in the first round, picking up John Quenneville of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Quenneville is a distant relative of Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville.
“The Devils pick can play at both ends of the ice and put up 58 points in the WHL,” Stubits wrote of John Quenneville. “He’s not flashy, he’s not overly exciting, but he’s a good player that has room to grow and get better. Sounds like the Devils’ kind of guy.”
Earlier, the Florida Panthers got the No. 1 pick in Aaron Ekblad, a 6-foot-4, 214-pound defenseman who played for Barrie in the Ontario Hockey League, is the first defenseman to go No. 1 since St. Louis took Erik Johnson in 2006.
Without a clear cut No. 1, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was open to trading the pick. In the end, he decided to take the 18-year-old defenseman out of Belle River, Ontario, with the first selection at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Panthers had a top-three pick in the NHL draft for the fourth time in the past five years. The first three _ defenseman Erik Gudbranson (in 2010), wing Jonathan Huberdeau (2011) and center Aleksander Barkov (2013) _ all played significant roles last season.
Florida also won the draft lottery in 2002 and 2003, but traded away those picks.
Ekblad was the OHL’s most outstanding defenseman last season, ranking first among defensemen with 23 goals and tying for fifth with 53 points. He also served as Barrie’s captain.
The Buffalo Sabres selected center Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick. He is the son of former NHL player Paul Reinhart, who was selected by the Atlanta Flames in the first round in 1979.
Reinhart has the potential to be a top-line center in filling a key need for the rebuilding Sabres, who are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Buffalo (21-51-10) finished last in the NHL standings, and set a franchise record for losses.
The Edmonton Oilers selected center Leon Draisaitl with the third overall pick, and Calgary took center Sam Bennett with the fourth pick. Vancouver selected forward Jake Virtanen with the sixth pick, Carolina took defenseman Haydn Fleury seventh, Toronto took forward William Nylander eighth, Winnipeg selected forward Nickolaj Ehlers ninth and Anaheim completed the top 10 with forward Nick Ritchie.
The Coyotes made their first pick since changing their name from Phoenix to Arizona. They selected forward Brendan Perlini with the first pick in “Arizona” history.
There was a big trade in the hours before the draft, when the Anaheim Ducks acquired center Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick Friday.
The 29-year-old Kesler is a standout two-way center who has spent his entire 10-season career in Vancouver, compiling six 20-goal seasons and 392 career points. The two-time U.S. Olympian won the Selke Trophy in 2011 as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
Nashville traded forward Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward James Neal midway through the draft.
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