PHILADELPHIA -- As if being selected with the fifth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders wasn't exciting enough, Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle had one other reason to crack a huge smile Friday at Wells Fargo Center.
The special moment came minutes after Islanders general manager Garth Snow announced Dal Colle as the team's first draft pick and came courtesy of captain John Tavares.
"It was literally two minutes after I was picked when Tavares called," Dal Colle said. "He was the first call and welcomed me to the New York Islanders. He said the organization is happy to have me aboard.
"It was really pretty cool."
Tavares, taken by the Islanders with the first pick in 2009, spent four seasons with Oshawa, totaling totaled 183 goals and 383 points in 223 regular-season games. Dal Colle has 54 goals and 143 points in 130 regular-season games and most likely will spend one more season with the Generals before turning pro.
He was asked if playing with Tavares is something he would relish.
"That would be unreal," Dal Colle said. "I know what he did in Oshawa. He was one of the best players to ever lace up the skates for the Generals. Skating beside him would be something special."
Dal Colle's role model is his older brother, Jonluca, who has autism. His hero is mother Wendy, who seven years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer but has been cancer-free since 2009.
"I haven't called [Jonluca] yet but I definitely will, for sure at some point," Dal Colle said while making his media tour following his selection. "He's going to hopefully be the first one to wear a No. 71 Islanders jersey."