Tampa Bay Lightning draft bios:
Vitals: 6-1, 187 pounds
Born: Feb. 1, 1996, in Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic
Drafted: 35th overall (Slavia Jr. of Czech Elite League)
Need to know: Expects to come overseas and play in Canadian junior next season. ... Led the Czech U-20 league with 102 penalty minutes. ... Was captain of the 2012-13 Czech U-18 team that won a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, the first time the Czechs medaled at the tournament since 2005. ... Last name is pronounced “machine.’’ ... Was also captain for the Czechs at the 2014 U-18 World Championships. ... Debuted with the U-20 Slavia team as a 16-year-old in 2012-13, picking up a goal and three points in 25 games. ... Ranked 35th overall by The Hockey News and 10th-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting. ... Played exclusively for junior team because he did not want to sign a binding contract with the big club.
Comment from Lightning director of amateur scouting Al Murray: “Good-skating defensive defenseman who makes a good first pass and plays a tight gap against the other team’s players. A real hard guy to play against, makes people pay the price and takes away time and space.’’
Vitals: 6-2, 200 pounds
Born: June 2, 1996, in Lowell, Mass.
Drafted: 57th overall (U.S. National Development Program)
Need to know: Scheduled to attend Boston University in the fall. ... Rights in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League held by Moncton, same team as current Lightning defenseman Mark Barberio. ... Considered a hard-nosed, shutdown defenseman. ... Captained Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2013 World U-17 championships and won gold with the 2014 U-18 team. ... Played two seasons with the U.S. National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Ranked 32nd overall by The Hockey News and 44th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Comment from Murray: “A right-handed version of Masin. They play a similar game. They always play against the top players on the other team and they make people pay a price. Their skating is good, their passing game is very simple, get the pucks up to the forwards and then follow and do the defensive work and make life miserable for the opponents.’’
Vitals: 5-9, 160 pounds
Born: March 13, 1996, in Calgary, Alberta
Drafted: 79th overall (from Moose Jaw of Western Hockey League)
Need to know: Led Moose Jaw and finished 12th in WHL scoring with 91 points in 72 games. His 91 points were 36 more than any of his teammates. ... Served as an assistant captain for Team Canada at the 2014 U-18 World Championships. ... Lists his favorite band as Led Zeppelin. ... One scout told The Hockey News: “No scout in the (WHL) can find fault with any part of his game, except that he’s small. He doesn’t play small, and doesn’t put himself in bad positions.’’ ... Another scout said, “He’s a small player with a big heart. He plays bigger than his size and he fights through traffic.’’ ... Ranked 42nd overall by The Hockey News and 31st among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. ... Invited to Team Canada’s Junior Development camp in August.
Comment from Murray: “Hockey sense, skill, vision, shift-after-shift, game-after-game the past two years, you walk away from Moose Jaw games and he’s the best player in the game. He’s not the biggest, he’s not the fastest player in the game, but every time you watched the Moose Jaw Warriors, he’s the best player in the game. We hope that he can continue to get stronger and he can turn that into being at the NHL level.’’
Vitals: 6-2, 193 pounds
Born: May 26, 1996, in Calgary, Alberta
Drafted: 119th overall (Calgary of the WHL)
Need to know: Was a pairing partner with Travis Sanheim, selected 17th overall by Philadelphia, both with Calgary and for Canada at the World U-18 championship. ... Finished with seven goals and 31 points in his rookie season in the WHL. ... Ranked 57th overall by The Hockey News and 86th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting after being ranked 46th during the midterm rankings. ... Was ranked higher than Sanheim entering the season. ... Represented Team Orr at the 2014 Top Prospects game.
Comment from Murray: “A good puck-moving, good positional, good passing defenseman. He’s not elite skill, but he’s that next tier below elite and he’s not elite physical, but he doesn’t play a soft game. So he does a little bit of everything, but we are waiting for him to take the next step to say he does enough of everything to be an elite player in some area. But he’s a good all-around defenseman.’’
Position: Left wing
Vitals: 5-11, 186 pounds
Born: Jan. 10, 1996, in Hamilton, Ontario
Drafted: 170th overall (Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League)
Need to know: Finished with 17 goals and 28 points in 50 games during his first season in the OHL. ... Teammate of Tampa Bay 2012 first-round pick Slater Koekkoek. ... Served an eight-game suspension for a hit to the head on Washington prospect Andre Burakovsky in January. ... DiGiacinto was also handed a five-game suspension during the playoffs against London for an incident in which he received an instigator, fighting and misconduct call that incited a minor line brawl. DiGiacinto chased down London’s Gemel Smith. ... Was the only rookie in the OHL with more than 100 penalty minutes. ... Cut from Erie camp last summer, he signed as a free agent with Windsor in October. ... Likes to compare himself to Boston’s Brad Marchand.
Comment from Murray: “One of those players that finds you, you don’t have to go looking for him on the ice. He’s always hitting people, he’s always on the forecheck. His skill level is good, but he scores goals because he goes to those dirty areas around the front of the net and chips them in. If you want to draw a comparable, he’s not Andrew Shaw (Chicago) but he’s a junior version of Shaw.’’
Position: Center/right wing
Vitals: 6-0, 189 pounds
Born: March 2, 1994, in South Boston, Mass.
Drafted: 185th overall (Cape Breton of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Need to know: Played two years in U.S. National Development Program. ... Won gold medal with USA U-18 at 2012 championships. ... Played nine games with Northeastern University before leaving during his freshman year and played for Muskegon in the USHL before joining Cape Breton for the 2013-14 season. ... Led Cape Breton with 35 goals and 47 assists during the regular season while serving as an alternate captain. ... Could earn a contract and play in Syracuse next season, according to Murray.
Comment from Murray: “This is not Ondrej Palat, but he is this year’s version of a similar situation to Ondrej Palat. He had a very good season in the Quebec League. He plays with skill, he plays with hockey sense, a good skater and a good compete. Very similar to Ondrej as a player.’’