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Bolts prospect spotlight: Cristiano DiGiacinto

by Doug Spencer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning prospect Cristiano DiGiacinto is on pace for a career year offensively. The left winger for the Windsor Spitfires is in his second season in the Ontario Hockey League and is showing much improvement from his rookie season.

The Hamilton, Ontario, native has potted 13 goals and 27 points in only 35 games with the Spitfires. He currently sits third overall in team scoring. He needs only five goals and one point to break his single season OHL records from last year. DiGiacinto was selected to serve as an assistant captain for Windsor this season.

Windsor’s vice president and general manager, former NHLer Warren Rychel said that DiGiacinto’s toughness and grit help to set him apart. “He has the heart of a lion. He does the dirty work,” Rychel said. It’s his willingness to get to those areas that will help DiGiacinto continue to succeed in the OHL.

The Lightning selected DiGiacinto in the sixth round, 170th overall, at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. DiGiacinto is seen as a blue-collar player with a good offensive skill set. He plays the game much bigger than his 5-foot-11, 196-pound stature dictates and is not afraid of standing up for teammates.

DiGiacinto spent the 2013-14 season between the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and the Hamilton Jr. Red Wings of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (Jr. A). It was his rookie OHL season, and he put forth a strong effort in finishing the season with Windsor.

The Hamilton native suited up for his hometown Jr. A Red Wings for nine games before being assigned to the Spitfires. He recorded an impressive eight goals and 11 points in that span, along with 37 PIM.

Joining a team half way through a season can be a challenge for any player, and DiGiacinto met it head on. In 50 games with the Spits, he tallied 17 goals and 28 points along with 101 PIM.

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