Bantam hockey player working on a dream

Photo courtesy Gus Dal Colle
SET IN MOTION: Michael Dal Colle is taking part in NHLPA future prospects camp.

The Dal Colle family is devoted to hockey.

Deep in the summer heat, they’re thinking ice — and not in their iced teas.

Gus and Wendy’s son Michael Dal Colle was selected by the NHLPA to take part in the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship program, which scouts the top 24 bantam-age forwards from across the country and brings them to Mississauga for an Aug. 2-6 camp.

For the Woodbridge teen, it means the world.

“I’m really excited there’s going to be some really good NHL guys there and hopefully I can take a lot from them because, obviously, they’re the best at what they do,” Michael Dal Colle said, cooing into the phone.

Former Stanley Cup champion and Maple Leaf Gary Roberts will be joined by current NHL talent to teach the 15-year-olds about proper nutrition, sports psychology, having fun and learning life skills, as well as strength and fitness.

With daughter Daniela attending Niagara University on a hockey scholarship, the Dal Colles already have a two-man advantage.

“For (Michael) it was a vindication that he is one of the top players in the province and in Canada,” Gus Dal Colle said. “If he continues to develop in this manner he may have the opportunity to make it to the NHL one day.”

Mom Wendy is ecstatic, especially since the news of Michael’s acceptance elicited a great reaction.

“I’ve never actually seen him more excited than when he was chosen for this,” she said. “I’ve seen him chosen for a lot of things, or playing for teams, but he has never reacted like he did when he was chosen for this camp.

“He just went crazy.”

The 6-foot-2 centre says he plans to focus on his skating. He considers himself a hybrid of power forward meets sniper, but his footwork slows him down a tad.

“I’m wanting to work on my skating because I think that’s the weakest part of my game,” Michael said. “I want to take full advantage of my long strides — make them as long as possible.”

Dal Colle is not the only one from York Region making the trek down the 401 to the Hershey Centre. His Vaughan Kings teammate Brook Hiddink, and Thornhiller Josh Ho-Sang, will be there too.

But it’s names like Milan Lucic, Rick Nash, Antoine Vermette, Maxime Talbot, Tyler Seguin, Matt Duchene — all appearing on the camp’s website in helpful video-clips — that draw Dal Colle’s attention.

“Meeting the NHLers — that’s going to be pretty awesome.”

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