Late in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins decided to keep it all in the family by choosing Ryan Fitzgerald with pick number 120.
Fitzgerald, an October 1994 baby and a center, played for three years with Massachusetts’ Malden Catholic High School and was part of two back-to-back state champion teams. Most recently, he’s been a part of the EJHL’s Valley Jr. Warriors and scored 30 points in just 26 games, along with an even three goals and three helpers in a six-game playoff run. He was part of the U19 American team at the World Junior A Challenge and scored four goals in four games of that tourney too.
Gee, see a pattern here? The guy is prolific. He’s also committed to Boston College for the 2013-14 season, so he’s going to keep it local as he develops.
But that’s not the most intriguing part of this pick. Fitzgerald is the son of Tom Fitzgerald, who’s currently within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization as the assistant to the general manager. (Therefore, he’s probably part of the Pens clan on the draft floor while his son is being selected.) However, he is from Billerica, Mass. and closed out his long playing career with a season in Boston. He was part of the inaugural Florida Penguins squad when he was re-drafted in the 1993 expansion after an original selection by the New York Islanders in 1986. For another expansion team, the Nashville Predators, he was their very first captain.
After more than 1,000 games played, Fitzgerald chose to sign with the Bruins as a free agent in 2004 and then waited out the lockout so he could get a chance to play for the hometown squad. He was able to do just that, playing a full 2005-06 season before hanging up the skates.
Fitzgerald the elder was part of an inaugural USA Hockey top prospects game, scouting for Pittsburgh, while Fitzgerald the younger was on the ice playing. Ryan notched three assists and was named game MVP in the win, also earning praise for his abilities at the faceoff dot. (The Bruins are a team that knows a little something about faceoff prowess.)
So with this selection, the Bruins continue to mine New England for local talent. They did so last year when picking Matt Grzelcyk, who’s actually friends with Fitzgerald:
Congrats to one of my best friends @RTF_17 on being drafted by the B’s. Just like old times bud. See you in a week!
— Matthew Grzelcyk (@Matt_Grzelcyk5) July 1, 2013
Yes indeed, we’ll see them soon at development camp!