Michael Dal Colle was one of two Bridgeport Sound Tigers named to the AHL All-Star Classic on Thursday, along with defenseman Sebastian Aho.
"It's definitely a big honor," Dal Colle said. "A lot of great players have played in that game, so be to named there with Sebastian Aho, it should be a fun experience and a great honor."
Dal Colle is currently on his second recall with the Islanders this season, so focusing on his NHL goals take immediate priority, but the distinction is recognition of a productive season in the AHL.
The Islanders 2014 first-round pick (fifth overall) leads the Sound Tigers with 28 points (16G, 12A) in 28 games. Dal Colle leads the Sound Tigers with 16 goals and is currently tied for ninth in the AHL goal scoring.
The all-star selection continues what's been an exciting week for Dal Colle, who recorded his first-career NHL point on Saturday in Toronto - his first game back in his hometown.
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"It was a whirlwind of a day," Dal Colle said. "I had a 5:20 a.m. shuttle from my house to LaGuardia. I flew, got to Toronto at 12 and didn't really know about playing until I saw my name on the board. It was a whirlwind, playing in front of family and friends, Hockey Night in Canada, that's something I watched as a kid. It was incredible."
Dal Colle was born in Richmond Hill, ON, but grew up in Woodbridge, a Toronto suburb. He grew up going to Leaf games at Air Canada Centre - now named Scotiabank Arena, which Dal Colle still finds strange to say - and relished the chance to play there as a pro.
The game was also Josh Ho-Sang's first in Toronto and Dal Colle said Ho-Sang helped his family get to the game. Dal Colle said both players enjoyed the experience.
"It was definitely cool for us to go out there and play where we dreamed of playing as a kid," Dal Colle said.
Dal Colle has played the past three games on the Isles third line with Leo Komarov. Trotz said he's seeing some development from the 22-year-old.
"Every time Michael has come up, he's looked more comfortable," Trotz said. I have a good trust in his game. His wall play and his pace of his game has increased from training camp, which is the biggest thing for him. He looks like he's a confident young man and he has a lot of pace to his game."