The New York Islanders have made the decision on which of their young forwards to keep for the time being, changing Michael Dal Colle’s emergency recall to a regular one and assigning Joshua Ho-Sang back to the minor leagues.
Dal Colle, 22, is finally making good on the fifth-overall selection the Islanders spent on him in 2014. For two years the big winger struggled in the minor leagues, but this season seemed to turn a corner with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before eventually finding his way to the NHL. Now with 22 games played for New York this season, it looks like he could be carving himself out a full-time role.
Though he has just five points in those 22 games, Dal Colle has been a positive possession player and has earned himself more ice time of late. Though he’s not going to supplant one of the Islanders’ top options at the moment, he’s setting himself up to be a real contributor in the future. Obviously you want more than just a warm body from such a high draft pick, but sometimes players just take longer to work out what makes them successful at the next level. Dal Colle is a restricted free agent this summer, which makes the next month or so very interesting from a contract negotiating standpoint.
Ho-Sang meanwhile continues to bounce up and down without any real consistency. The 23-year old forward is obviously a skilled player, as evidenced by his 103 points in 144 games at the minor league level, but can’t seem to find a role on the Islanders. Another first-round pick from 2014, Ho-Sang is also a restricted free agent this summer and has been considered a trade candidate in the past.