Todd Cordell

USING NUMBERS TO LOOK AT THE NHL'S FUTURE STARS

Tag Archives: Michael Dal Colle

By The Numbers: Oshawa Generals vs Erie Otters – May 15, 2015

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The Oshawa Generals hosted the Erie Otters in Game 5 of the OHL Final looking to advance to the Memorial Cup with a win, and they did just that.

After allowing the game’s 1st goal, Oshawa scored six of the next seven en route to a 6-2 win over the Otters.

Oshawa doesn’t have any high profile draft eligible forwards (they’re easier to track on TV) so I tracked Islanders prospect Michael Dal Colle for the Generals, as well as Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome and 2016 draft eligible Alex DeBrincat off the Otters.

Zone Starts

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The Generals are a big, powerful team and they don’t have a lot of guys that can drive play up ice and dominate through the neutral zone. Michael Dal Colle is one of the guys they have that can do that, which probably factored into why he started so many shifts outside of the offensive zone despite being the team’s leading scorer (in goals and points).

Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid are Erie’s three best offensive talents. This was an elimination game and Erie trailed for the final 39 minutes. They carried play for much of that time so naturally these three were spoon fed offensive zone starts.

Zone Entries

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Dal Colle didn’t have as many entry attempts as you’d expect someone with so many zone starts outside of the offensive zone, but he was perfect in his four attempts.

Oshawa is a very big, strong team and DeBrincat is an undersized player who is barely 17 years old. Oshawa’s game plan seemed to be to stand him up at the line and separate him from the puck. They did that well.

Strome failed to gain the line in two of his first three attempts. He then rallied off nine consecutive successful zone entries. He put forth by far the best neutral zone performance I’ve seen from him.

McDavid was once again dominant through the neutral zone. He plays the game at such a high pace that basically forces defenders to back off.

Shot Attempts

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Dal Colle struggled in possession in this game, but when you take into account score effects – Oshawa was defending a lead the final 39 minutes – and that he started 19 of 22 shifts outside the offensive zone it’s hard to expect much more.

DeBrincat wasn’t great through the neutral zone and he was spoon fed offensive zone starts, but his numbers were still impressive in this game. When he was on the ice much of the action was in Oshawa’s end.

Strome was excellent in this game. He created chances almost every shift and was exceptional through the neutral zone.

McDavid had a pretty good game for someone who was ‘shut down’. It didn’t reflect on the scoresheet – he had just one point and was on for a few goals against – but when he was on the ice Erie had a much larger portion of the shot attempts and scoring chances. McDavid was also dominant through the neutral zone. He didn’t get the result he wanted, but he was very good in what was his final game in the OHL.

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By The Numbers: Oshawa Generals vs Peterborough Petes – March 27, 2015

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The No. 1 ranked Oshawa Generals started their quest for an OHL title – and Memorial Cup appearance – on Friday when they hosted the Peterborough Petes.

While the Petes are hardly equal on paper, this is one of the best rivalries in junior hockey, and Game 1 did not disappoint in terms of entertainment.

Oshawa certainly has more notable players, so I tracked three Generals and just one Pete. For Oshawa I kept my eyes on prized Islanders forward prospect Michael Dal Colle, as well as draft eligible forward Anthony Cirelli, and draft eligible defensemen – and potential 1st round pick – Mitch Vande Sompel. For Peterborough I tracked draft eligible defensemen Matt Spencer.

Final score: 7-2 Oshawa

Zone Starts

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Anthony Cirelli is one of the younger players on Oshawa, but he is trusted by head coach D.J. Smith. His defensive zone start totals weren’t high because the Generals dominated this game, but starting eight of nine shifts outside of the offensive zone helps illustrate Smith’s confidence in Cirelli’s two-way play.

Michael Dal Colle is one of the best offensive talents in the CHL, so naturally he was given a decent chunk of offensive zone starts. Dal Colle was given more defensive zone starts late, as Peterborough played Oshawa pretty even in the 3rd.

Mitch Vande Sompel is the best puck mover on Oshawa’s blue line – and was the CHL’s points per game leader among draft eligible defensemen in the regular season – so it was hardly a surprise to see him spoon fed offensive zone starts.

Matt Spencer started more shifts in the offensive zone than defensive zone, but I don’t think head coach Jody Hull was overly concerned with where he started his shifts.

Zone Entries

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Given he started 88% of his shifts outside of the offensive zone, it was surprising that Cirelli only had one entry attempt considering he is a good skater, and possesses solid puck skills.

Dal Colle didn’t have many entry attempts, either, but he made the most of them going perfect on the night. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I believe Sens prospect Tobias Lindberg did the heavy lifting in terms of zone entries for that line.

Vande Sompel jumped into the play regularly, but seemed more interested in distributing the puck to a winger at the line rather than carrying it in himself. Still, he showed the ability to do so.

Spencer’s Petes didn’t generate much offense at all, so Spencer took it into his own hands and tried to rush the puck up ice himself on a couple occasions.

Shot Attempts

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Cirelli’s ice time was somewhat limited, and he only had one offensive zone start, but he came out positive in terms of possession. I’m sure Oshawa is happy with that from their bottom-6.

Dal Colle was excellent in this game, and generated chances almost every time he was on the ice. I believe his line had 10 or 11 shot attempts for before they finally allowed one. He had three assists to go with his dominant possession numbers.

Vande Sompel was sheltered in terms of zone starts, and his possession numbers reflect that. He kept things moving in the right direction, though, and contributed a pair of points on the man advantage (one goal, one assist). It was a pretty solid game all things considered.

Spencer was matched up against Dal Colle’s line a lot early, but those two squared off less frequently as the game went on. Oshawa dominated the game from start to finish – they outshot Peterborough 41-20 – so to come out almost even in possession is rather impressive.

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