Ok, lots of people seem to think this guy is less then he is... I'm gonna go through a quick analysis of my own... hopefully some of you will see this guy the way I do.
Durability and Injury
Now... lots of ppl, who cheer for whatever team they cheer for seem to think this guy is easily injured. He isn't.
He has been injured twice, both have been freak injuries.
The first was the biggest one... he tried to hit Varada, came at him really fast, but didn't deliver the full hit, he clipped Varada, and ended up going spinning into the boards, hitting his temple. doesn't matter who you are, hitting your temple at the speed he was going will give you a concussion... its simple anatomy and physics. Major concussions tend to lead to Post Concussion Syndrome... which he suffered from in training camp, leading him to be scratched from the lineup at the beginning of the season. Eventually he recoverd from his PCS (a testament to his durability, some players never recover), and got put in the Marlies for conditioning... He got hit in the hand by a shot and broke his thumb... very few players in the NHL can say that they haven't gotten this type of injury... it's very common, and has nothing to do with a player being frail or easily injured... it has to do with a piece of frozen, rock solid rubber hitting a joint at 90km/h(or is it mph? i never know)... remember ppl, these shots can knock over goalies, break the plexi glass, and have, in one case killed a young fan in the stands(god bess that kid's soul)...they're not to be taken lightly. Colaiacovo plays an extremely physical game, if he where easily injured, he wouldn't be able to play the way he does.
Open Ice Hits... fun to watch, but this guy can change the pace of a game with one... He's taken down Bertuzzi, no problem, Comrie, no problem, Guerin, no problem... and he's had only 2 years in the NHL and isn't as big as some of the guys he's plastered... and lets not forget... even in the hit where he got injured... where he only clipped Varada... Varada still had to get some attention in the dressing room, I believe it was stitches but I'm not 100% on that. Even clipping a guy sent him to the dressing room... imagine if he had released the full force of that check on him, instead of the boards... he would have finnished the season with the Leafs, and it would be Varada recovering from Post Concussion Syndrome.
Playing with the Puck
His stats as of now may not show it... but he's an offensive force to be reconed with. His hits turn the puck over, and he knows what to do with the disc when he gets it. He is still developing, but he's forming Kaberle's ability to move the puck into the zone, while also developing McCabe's ability and willingness to shoot the puck from the blue line. His shot hugs the ice... and moves extremely fast... perfect when playing with guys like Tucker who love tipping shots in...
Playing without the Puck
He has excelent vision on the ice... he always knows where the puck is, and where it's going... as I said before, he hits really hard... but he does so with regard to positional play. Other physical defensemen, like Danny Markov(another favourite of mine) will leave their position to get a guy... leaving another player open to get to the net... I said earlier that he's getting Kaberle and McCabe's skills with the puck... But he already has something much more valuable in a defenseman... Gill's understanding of positional play... unlike Gill however, He's good on his skates.
Colaiacovo can shoot, pass, hit, has execlent positional play, and can skate... he has everything you want in a defenseman packaged into a 6 foot 1, 200 pound package, and despite the common belief is not easily injured... in my opionion, it's not unlikely that in the next few years, he will be taking Kaberle's spot on the defensive depth chart.