Michael Dal Colle was drafted fifth overall by the New York Islanders in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, so it was already a bit surprising to see the Woodbridge, Ontario native reassigned to the major juniors following his first NHL training camp.
Fast forward another year, and the same thing has happened all over again — both first rounders from 2014 (dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang) have been reassigned to the major juniors before getting a look at the NHL level. This time, though, it’s all the more noticeable — because 2015 first round selection Mathew Barzal, one of two players selected in the top 30 slots in Sunrise this June, will not join dal Colle and Ho-Sang on the list of players cut by the club.
Michael Dal Colle and Anthony Beauvillier sent back to Junior by the Islanders. Mathew Barzal survives another cut.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) September 29, 2015
Seeing left wing Anthony Beauvillier reassigned to the QMJHL for more development time isn’t a huge surprise; the Sorel, Quebec native (drafted 28th overall) is likely a player the club is going to closely monitor to make sure he isn’t rushed within the system. Younger brother to former Florida Panthers prospect Frances Beauvillier, Anthony is expected to ultimately have a higher ceiling than the former NHL hopeful he grew up alongside.
It also helps that Beauvillier was named captain of the Shawinigan Cataractes back in August; if anything, he was spending extra time with the Islanders for the sheer experience.
Seeing Dal Colle returned — especially before Barzal — though is a bit of a shock.
Leading up to the 2014 Draft, Dal Colle was described as a “very good skater with speed and power and with his size, is the type of player who can ‘go where he wants.'”. To see the Islanders sending him down already is a bit of a surprise, since he went a bit above TSN’s projected ninth overall when New York selected him.
The fact that Barzal is still around, though, may be the most telling of all.
The 16th overall selection comes from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL, and seeing him drop as far as he did was a bit of a shock — especially when Boston was poised to select three consecutive players at 13, 14, and 15th overall. Having the Islanders keep him around over Dal Colle or Beauvillier suggests that they may want those nine games out of him — it would be detrimental to hold on to him at this point if they weren’t planning on doing so — and if he plays well enough, there’s no ruling out seeing a longer stay in the big leagues.