Selected by the Washington Capitals at the tail end of the 2008 draft in Ottawa (204th overall to be exact), and developing into a real agitator with leadership qualities, and a bit of a scoring touch, winger Stefan Della Rovere may have been the last of the unplucked gems that summer, plucked by GM George McPhee and staff.
We've been following the prospect since just after he was drafted, and last season "Captain Colt" scored 27 goals and 51 points in 57 OHL contests with the Barrie Colts, tallied 146 PIM and scrapped a bunch along the way and, in between all of that, helped win a gold medal for Team Canada at the World Juniors in 2009.
This season, he's continued to develop the modern grinder's game with Barrie, and scored three goals and added three assists for Team Canada in the 2010 WJC tournament, as an alternate captain. And most importantly, he's brought more discipline to his game.
Getting back into professional action seems almost certain for Delly, signed to a three-year entry level deal with the Caps back in April of 2009. Here's hoping that he becomes a fixture and a fan favorite in D.C. in the foreseeable future.
But there's a ways to go yet.
We chatted with the feisty winger by phone yesterday, from somewhere near the shores of Lake Simcoe. SDR talks about the WJCs, his season thus far, his increased leadership role, playing on the edge (but not over it), L'affaire Patrice Cormier, the recent Alex Ovechkin-Steve Downie-Matt Bradley altercation, and what he needs to do to stick at the next level.