The pick is in, and the Tampa Bay Lightning have selected left wing Cristiano DiGiacinto of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League with the 170th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
This is just the second time this draft that Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has strayed away from his blatantly defensive stance.
The first time was when he drafted center Brayden Point with the 79th overall pick.
The good news about this stance is that Yzerman has made it clear to Lightning fans that he is committed to sealing up the holes that the Bolts currently have in their defense.
However, I think you will find that there will be more than just defensive shifts in the roster next season. I have a good feeling that we may see someone from last year’s NHL Draft make his official debut in a Lightning jersey. Hint, hint…poke, poke…Jonathan Drouin.
With shifts like this, that will leave room in the Lightning’s developmental system for some talented forwards looking to make their debut in professional hockey.
This is where players like Cristiano DiGiacinto come into play.
While DiGiacinto is not exactly Jonathan Drouin, (then again, who is?) he is still a solid winger with good potential to grow into something spectacular.
As I said before, he is a member of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. This team should sound awful familiar to you. There is another member of the Tampa Bay Lightning developmental system that plays for the Spitfires; defenseman Slater Koekkoek.
DiGiacinto suited up for 50 games with the Spitfires last season. In that amount of time, he was able to score 17 goals and 11 assists for a total of 28 points along with his plus-8 rating.
While the 18 year old Hamilton, Ontario native may have to spend another year or two in the Development System in order to be ready to take the ice on the main roster, he is one of those players who have the potential to evolve into something great.
What do you think of the latest addition to the Bolts Nation? What do you think a player like DiGiacinto brings to the organization? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Make sure to stay tuned to Bolts By The Bay as we bring you all the latest news and updates from the 2014 NHL Draft.