Acadia alumnus playing with the Hartford Wolfpack
Acadia Axemen alumnus Cristiano Digiacinto has had a strong first half playing with the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL. As of the writing of this article, he has suited up in 13 games scoring 4 points, including 3 goals for the Wolfpack.
We caught up with Cristiano to ask him about what it’s been like suiting up in the AHL this season, he said, “Playing in the AHL this year has truly been a dream come true. At first things were a little different, not playing last year made it tough to get into the swing of things. After a few games, I felt that my game continued to improve and got back to where I was my last year at Acadia.”
Digiacinto suited up for the Acadia Axemen from 2017-2021, having his final year of his USports career cut short with the 2020-21 season being cancelled due to the pandemic. However that didn’t deter the Hamilton, Ontario native as he signed an AHL contract this summer with the Hartford Wolfpack.
Back in 2019-20, the Axemen forward had a breakout season, when he finished in a 3 way tie with the most goals in the AUS, with 20 goals in 30 games; he also added 17 assists, for a team high 37 points in 30 games. That season the Axemen and Cristiano were preparing to take centre stage in USports hockey as the hosts of the UCup National tournament, however before Acadia even played their opening game, the tournament was shut down due to the onset of the pandemic in Nova Scotia.
Over his USports career with Acadia, Digiacinto had 53 points in 67 regular season games, and 17 points in 20 playoff games.
Axemen Head Coach Darren Burns expressed pride in Digiacinto’s accomplishments saying, “Deeg was a very focused player when he arrived on campus. We are happy to see how well he is doing and he deserves everything that accompanies his success. He has always wanted to be a pro hockey player. He came here, achieved academic all-Canadian status, was a leader on campus and in the community, got better as a player and is now fulfilling his dream. It is great to see. We are very proud of his accomplishments.”
Prior to arriving at Acadia, Cristiano was drafted by Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014 in the 6th round #170 overall and had won a Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires in 2016-17 after a strong OHL career scoring 149 points in 223 regular season games. Following that season he joined the Jacksonville Iceman of the ECHL where he had 6 points in 12 games before leaving the team to enroll at Acadia University after the holiday break and joining the Axemen.
Digiacinto added, “After junior I played a few months of pro hockey before deciding to go to Acadia. My three years at Acadia really helped me mature as a player and a person and put me in a great spot mentally and physically to be a pro hockey player. On the ice, I was able to develop and was put in opportunities to excel on the ice. Off the ice, my kinesiology degree has helped me become a certified personal trainer and gave me a better understanding of my own personal health and fitness. As a pro player now, I understand taking care of my body helps me perform better on the ice.”
Cristiano signed off saying, “I’m thankful for everything Acadia has done for me and without the amazing teammates, coaches and professors, I would not have been giving this opportunity to be a professional hockey player.”
The Acadia hockey program would like to congratulate Cristiano on his success and wish him all the best on a great second half of the season. #ForeverAnAxemen