And the best story of this draft goes to... Michael Dal Colle! Normally when you think of a highly touted prospect, you wouldn't normally think of their life off the ice to be as emotional and inspiring as Michael's, or at least not in the same way as his. His older brother, Jonluca, is autistic and his mother, Wendy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and won the fight as she was cleared just two years later.
When asked about his family this is what Michael had to say:
"My mom is a huge role model for me in my life after all she's been through, in raising her kids, a special-needs son; it's pretty powerful. Obviously, in the back of my mind, everything I do is for her. I hope I can help her even more in the future."
"Jonluca is a great guy and the other role model in my life. He's had it hard, growing up. It's tough, but it has made us a stronger family. It makes me a better person. It's different, but I'm so used to it now and he's someone special in my life for sure; an important addition to the family."
Born: June 20th, 1996
Height: 6'2'' (188 cm)
Weight: 78 kg (172 lbs.)
CSS Ranking: 5th - North American Skaters
Michael Dal Colle Highlights
Well, what can I say, the guy skates pretty damn fast. He's hard to knock off the puck, got great size and with his speed he's able to make room for himself and that lets him best attribute into use, his hands. Dal Colle is an all-around, two-way forward that can play at both ends of the ice and is known for his lazer-beam shot as you may have seen in the videos. Not to worry though, he can stick stick handle pretty nicely and scouts say that he's seemed to improve his play-making this season as well. It would be amazing if we could somehow get Dal Colle and Draisaitl in this draft, Draisaitl the play-maker and Dal Colle the goalscorer.
172 lbs probably won't cut it in the NHL, but that seems to be a concern for many prospects and hopefully he's able to improve it. For this reason, I think if a team were to draft him, they would probably need to send him down for another season to gain more experience and get stronger. Once this is solved, he can also maybe throw some punishing hits, if he adds some muscle to the big frame of his then he could probably be an amazing two-way forward in a top six role. Other than that, there isn't much that you can really say is a "weakness".
Comparables: Eric Staal, Tomas Plekanec, Olli Jokinen
A lot of mock drafts around the internet have us taking Draisaitl or Dal Colle with the 4th pick, and there's a good chance we will. With that being said, only one question remains...