Canucks Army draft prospect profile #6 – Michael Dal Colle

Please direct your attention to the following Jim Benning quote:

“I like this draft class, y’know, the top six players I really like.”

Well isn’t that just remarkably convenient? The Canucks have the sixth pick, and the general manager is out there saying that there are six quality players in the draft! Almost a little too convenient for my tastes.

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Position: Centre
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 172 lbs
Birthdate: June 20 1996

First things first: happy birthday, Mr. Dal Colle. You are now old enough to vote, although that doesn’t seem to mean much to most people in Ontario, apparently.

I can forgive Mr. Benning for mentioning that this is a six-player draft class. While the five of us Canucks Army scouts had a different player lined up for sixth overall, it isn’t too gauche to suggest that the first six players to go will be, in some order or another, Sam Bennett, Michael Dal Colle, Leon Draisaitl, Aaron Ekblad, Willie Nylander, and Sam Reinhart. Even though Ron Delorme, Brian Burke and the Edmonton Oilers all have picks in the top six, I think the general managers at the table will stick to the familiar script, and the “worst” of the “best” finds his way into Benning’s hands next week.

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And, well, we should be quite happy if it’s Dal Colle. The former Vaughan King righted Philadelphia first rounder Scott Laughton’s junior career last year after the two were put on the same line, and Laughton for a while was in the conversation for the OHL MVP award. Dal Colle, however, drove the Generals offence, leading the Eastern Conference’s best team.

Dal Colle is the sort of player who has something for everybody, regardless of what you look for in a player. Compared to players like Kasperi Kapanen and Robby Fabbri, Dal Colle has filled out quite early, hitting 6’2″ before his 18th birthday. Despite the size and not being particularly shy about using it when he’s going full throttle, Dal Colle doesn’t take a lot of penalties, usually finding the stat sheet by the way of goals and assists. Scouts rave about his shot, and Pronman notes Dal Colle’s defensive game may not be developed because the opposition doesn’t see much of the puck when he’s on the ice.

So what’s the downside? Via Nations colleague Justin Fisher:

Truth be told, the most glaring issue anybody has with Dal Colle is that his favourite song is ‘Drops of Jupiter’

He’s the sort of player who can get it done on either the perimeter or in tight and one of the few players in the draft class whom you can say was the best player on a good team. Like Fabbri, he’s a player who will probably lead Team Canada at the World Juniors if he sticks around in the OHL for another season, but I don’t think he’ll spend much more time seasoning in the junior ranks, particularly if he’s taken somewhat high by a team like Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver that just want to get forwards into the show as fast as possible and damn the entry-level contract slide rule.

Here’s seven minutes of Dal Colle cutting through the OHL East. If you thought the OHL West defence was bad, uh, don’t watch this:

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As for Michael’s favourite band… I dunno. It sounds like a wimpy version of Sam Roberts:


Michael Dal Colle
Cam 5
Dimitri 6
Josh 5
Rhys 7
Thomas 4


  • You could just as easily say that the “no brainer” top 6 is Ekblad, Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl, Dal Colle and Ehlers… So… I have no idea which player GMJB has pinned at #6, but, it seems he has a sweet spot for somebody outside the MSM top 5 in order to declare that the draft is six deep? I keep wondering who that player is!

    • elvis15

      You could say that, but you’d be wrong. Consensus is including Nylander among that top group, and while Ehlers has some fans, he doesn’t have near the same overall projection.

      • I respectfully disagree about their overall projections. I would even go as far as to say that Nylander is more of the wildcard between the two because of the league he played in and not being entirely sure how he’ll adjust to the NA game. Ehlers meanwhile dominated in his first year in NA and projects as a high end talent. I do appreciate that you gave a civil reply though, but, we might just have to agree to disagree.

      • Mantastic

        Also, I’m not saying I don’t like Nylander. For me, even before JB said this draft was six deep, I was already thinking it was 7 deep, although, terraced. I watched an interview that really deteriorated my impression of Dal Colle though, so, my own rank is a little different then some as he is not that type of “Canuck player” that TL and JB like to talk about and he gets docked for that.

        Personally, I put it like this:

        1/2 Ekblad or Reinhart
        3 Bennett
        4/5 Ehlers or Draisaitl
        6/7 Nylander or Dal Cole

        But everyone can and should have their own opinions and adjust their own order accordingly.

        But, to me, Ehlers is a steal at #6 in this draft class.

  • Mantastic

    truth is, it’s a top 4 draft. only reason why he says it’s a 6 player draft class is because the Canucks are drafting in 6th. likewise if the Canucks drafted 7th, he would have said 7 player draft class, etc.

    the canucks are pedaling hope to sell season tickets and the fan base.

    and tho i don’t necessarily disagree with Dal Colle dropping out of the top 5 in CA’s draft rankings, if Dal Colle played centre he would and should have made top 5.

    • Mantastic

      So what if first tier of the draft is 4 deep.

      #6 and Schroeder (TWO 1st round picks!) is enough to get into the top 4.

      #6, Schroeder and Tanev (equivalent of THREE 1st round picks) is enough to get #1.

      I don’t see the problem here…

      • Is that actually NMOO? You think Schroeder is still considered as a first round pick? I don’t think Schroeder is enough to move up even two spots in the draft.

        Is this subtle sarcasm?

        I think Ekblad is tier one, Reinhart Bennett and Draisaitl are tier two, Dal Colle, Ehlers and Nylander are tier three.

        What is interesting is that one of those seven is disliked by JBTL. Arguments could be made for any of the last three (Colle for attitude, Ehlers for lack of California grit, etc)

        And to whoever is holding our hope for Ritchie. One word: Byron.