Let’s start off by saying Ryan Fitzgerald is the cousin of current NHLers Jimmy and Kevin Hayes and the son of former NHLer Tom Fitzgerald. So, hockey is in his blood. With all the top prospects the Bruins have, Ryan Fitzgerald should not be forgotten. Fitzgerald is a Massachusetts native, growing up in North Reading and playing his high school hockey at Malden Catholic. The now 23-year-old was drafted by Boston in the 4th round (120th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft. He played all four seasons of college hockey at Boston College, receiving the “A” in his final season. During his time at BC, he racked up 132 points in 152 games played. But why is this prospect not at the front of everyone’s minds?
For starters, with a guy like Ryan Donato lighting up the Olympics, it’s pretty hard to focus on a guy like Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is really impressing in Providence while playing alongside guys like Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Jordan Szwarz, and Kenny Agostino. It’s Fitzgerald's first full season in Providence and he’s managed to rack up 22 points (12 G, 10 A) in 42 games played. This is not bad for a guy in his first full season in the pros. Fitzgerald sees plenty of PP time and is able to cash in on many opportunities.
This kid has a nose for the net. He continuously drives to the blue paint and has been rewarded for it as of late. Here’s a goal that he cashes in on because of his presence in the crease.
Take a look at Fitzgerald's 9th goal of the season!! pic.twitter.com/xQEAEa3PUe— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) January 27, 2018
Fitzgerald is a somewhat small, offensively gifted forward who knows how to drive to the net and score goals. Fitzgerald is fast, and uses his skating ability to find open areas on the ice as well as put pressure on the opponent. This small guy doesn’t shy away from physical play, at some points, I would say it makes him play better. He does take unnecessary penalties, but that will stop as his development progresses. He’s still maturing so he will definitely spend more time in Providence before ever making his debut with Boston. Fitzgerald plays a great two-way game and would definitely benefit by learning from a guy like Patrice Bergeron.
This kid has a long way to go, but he has the talent to eventually make it to the NHL and make an impact. He is a great, offensively gifted player who will keep working until he reaches the ultimate goal of playing in the NHL some day.