With the 2014 NHL Draft winding down, the Tampa Bay Lightning had two picks left, one each in the 6th and 7th rounds.
With the 170th overall pick, the Bolts selected winger Cristiano DiGiacinto, of the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL.
DiGiacinto has some skill, recording 28 points in 50 games with Windsor in his draft season:
But he's primarily known for his more ... edgy play. A quick Google search will turn up his HockeyFights card before you get to his HockeyDB page or his EliteProspects stat report, embedded above, which should indicate what type of player DiGiacinto is.
He had 9 fighting majors in the OHL last year, plus one more in the playoffs and he was suspended twice -- eight games in the regular season for a check to the head and another five games in the playoffs for "bullying" following an on-ice altercation with an opposing player.
As for an inside opinion on the feisty winger:
RT @BoltProspects came a long way this yr. If he improves half as much next yr you have a steal. Good hockey sense. Gritty yapper #backsitup— SpitsBlog Uncensored (@SpitsBlog1) June 28, 2014
It's hard to be too excited about picking a fighter on purpose -- that skillset is readily available in free agency -- but DiGiacinto does have some qualities you like in a late round pick. 28 points in 50 games is nothing to scoff at, and when you compare him to this draft's highest profile agitator -- Brendan Lemieux (yes, Claude Lemieux's son), who was picked 31st overall by the Buffalo Sabres -- he comes out looking like a big value pick.
From ExtraSkater's CHL Stats, Lemieux scored 2.7 points/60 minutes of ice time while playing a similar style to DiGiacinto, who finished the season at 2.5 points/60. The overall point total disparity -- Lemieux scored 53 points to DiGiacinto's 28 -- comes from 15 extra games played and more time on ice played per game.
But in terms of rate scoring, they're very similar players. In fact, you could even make the argument that with less time on ice and worse linemates, DiGiacinto might be a better scorer than Lemieux -- at a pick that came 140 selections later.
Setting aside the questions with picking a player known for fighting, if the Lightning we looking to add this type of player to the organization no matter what, they certainly did well in getting DiGiacinto in the 6th over Lemieux in the 2nd.
One final thought on DiGiacinto:
Murray on Cristiano: "The puck drops and the guy who smacking into everybody all over the ice, absolutely draws your attention."— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 28, 2014
The Bolts traded away their own 7th round pick (200th overall) and a 2015 7th rounder to move up to 185th and select Cameron Darcy, from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the QMJHL. Darcy has had a rocky road to being drafted as an overage CHLer:
Going from the USNTDP, to the USHL, to the NCAA and back to the USHL before playing last season in the QMJHL, where he was Cape Breton's leading sorer with 35 goals and 47 assists in 65 games.
Those numbers aren't quite as impressive as most of the earlier round picks, considering he's 20 years old, but they still indicate a good skill player that can contribute on offense. Yzerman and Murray like to pick overage forwards late in the draft, and Darcy can step right into the AHL and contribute this fall with the Syracuse Crunch if he wins a spot. The Crunch were sorely lacking scoring depth last year and it's likely he'll be able to help in that regard, making this another good value 7th round pick.