Tampa Bay Lightning: 30 Best Draft Picks In Franchise History

12 of 31

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

20. Ryan Craig

Draft Year: 2002

Position: Forward 

Another one of our throwback players, former Tampa Bay Lightning forward had a solid career after being drafted in the eighth round of the 2002 NHL draft. Craig enjoyed a stellar junior hockey career with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, topping out at 74 points as his career high during his five seasons with the organization.

After his junior career ended, Craig would grind his way through the East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey league before finally getting his chance to play in the NHL with the Lightning during the 2005-06 season. He had a nice coming out party in his first year with the team, scoring 28 points in his first 48 NHL games.

Craig would continue to play NHL games with the team, scoring 27 points in 71 games during the 2006-07 season. Craig seemed to struggle when it came to finding his role on the team, and was later sent down to the minors to get his game back.

Craig came back to the NHL with the Lightning with a new-found identity. Though he was a great scorer in both Canadian Junior and the AHL, his game did not seem to transition into the NHL. So, Craig decided to reinvent himself. Playing mostly third line minutes, Craig relentlessly forechecked and laid his body on the line for the team while always being a great teammate.

After his time in the NHL with the Lightning, Craig bounced around with many organizations, playing mostly in the AHL. Though his scoring success did not really transfer to the NHL, the former eighth round pick still had a solid career in the NHL and will always be remembered for the great teammate that he was.

Next: The Latvian Puck Stopper