Blackhawks: Signing Michael Dal Colle
Continuing with the free agent targets series, we look at a player who hasn't had much NHL experience, but has the potential to breakout when put in the right scenario. He is a player I am very high on, and I could see as a future bottom six forward with the Blackhawks in Michael Dal Colle, who wasn't tendered a qualifying offer by the Islanders, and will become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
Dal Colle, 26, only played 1 game in the NHL during the 2021-22 season. At 6'3, 201 pounds, Dal Colle brings a physical presence to the depths of the lineup. Last season in the AHL, Dal Colle put up 22 points through 39 games and added 8 pims. He's not the most elite offensive producer, but he is always battling, winning puck races and playing very solid in his own zone.
Being a #5 overall draft pick comes with a ton of pressure, and we've seen Dal Colle turn into what most people would call a bust. No, he is not someone I would've taken at 5th overall looking back, but this doesn't make him a bad hockey player. With 112 NHL games under his belt and being in his mid 20's, signing Dal Colle to a 1-2 year, two way deal would add the much needed internal competition to the Blackhawks lineup, while giving a guy with so much heart for the game a chance at redemption.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and if utilized properly, Dal Colle's strengths could show through as a Blackhawk. His past injury struggles are definitely going to raise some red flags, but with Chicago in full tank mode, taking the risk on him wouldn't be detrimental to the team, and if he stays healthy and turns into a depth scorer, he could become a useful piece in the rebuild.