Ryan Fitzgerald
Image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hometown:

North Reading Massachusetts

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1994-10-19

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

4th round (120th overall), 2013

Weight:

176 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2009-10: Ryan Fitzgerald skated for Malden Catholic High School in Massachusetts as a freshman. In 24 games he scored 17 goals with 30 assists. He participated in the Beantown Spring Classic and in USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program evaluation camp. Fitzgerald committed to playing college hockey at Boston College in 2013-14.

2010-11: Fitzgerald was the second-leading scorer for Malden Catholic as a sophomore and represented the USA in the 2010 U17 Five Nations Tournament in Switzerland. Playing on a line with leading scorer Mike Vecchione and Brendan Collier he scored 28 goals with 44 assists in 24 games as Malden Catholic captured the Super 8 Title; finishing 20-2-2. Fitzgerald was one of three players with seven points for the gold medal USA squad in Switzerald – trailing only leading scorer Zach Stepan (3 goals, 5 assists) – finishing with 2 goals and 5 assists in four games.

2011-12: Fitzgerald was the second-leading scorer for Malden Catholic as a junior behind Collier as the Lancers captured their second straight Super 8 Title. He led Malden Catholic with 31 goals and had 20 assists in 19 games. Fitzgerald had an assist in the championship game as the Lancers defeated Boston College High, 3-1.

2012-13: Fitzgerald played for the Valley Junior Warriors in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, foregoing his senior season at Malden Catholic, and was the lone non-USHL player to skate for the USA team at the 2012 U19 World Junior A Challenge. He scored 14 goals with 16 assists in 26 games and had 50 penalty minutes. The Warriors reached the playoff quarterfinals and in six games Fitzgerald scored 3 goals with 3 assists. He was the second-leading goal scorer for the champion USA squad at the WJAC, scoring 4 goals in four games. Fitzgerald also was named the MVP at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game for his three-assist performance. Fitzgerald was ranked 56th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.

 2013-14: Fitzgerald skated in 40 games for Boston College as a freshman and was a key supplementary scorer to the Eagles’ top line of Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), Kevin Hayes (Rangers) and Bill Arnold (Calgary). He scored 13 goals with 16 assists and was +8 with 22 penalty minutes. BC won the Hockey East regular season title and was among the top-ranked teams in the country most of the year. The Eagles were upset by Notre Dame in a three-game Hockey East quarterfinal series but rebounded to capture the NCAA Northeast Regional — defeating Denver and Massachusetts-Lowell — before falling to eventual national champion Union, 5-4, in a Frozen Four semifinal game.

Talent Analysis

Fitzgerald is a small, offensively gifted forward. An instinctive scorer who is quick and knows how to find the open areas in the offensive zone, he uses his skating ability to avoid trouble or put pressure on opposing puck carriers. Despite his size he does not shy away from physical play — though undisciplined penalties can detract from his game at times. After making his debut in college hockey as an 18-year-old, Fitzgerald is still maturing physically and should continue to develop the supplementary aspects of his game. The Boston College program has churned out several talented forwards under coach Jerry York in recent years and Fitzgerald has the skill level to add to that legacy.

Future

Fitzgerald is in his sophomore season at Boston College in 2014-15 and was one of the nation's leading goal scorers in the first half of the year. Despite his lack of stature he has also shown an edge to his game. As with other undersized players who were big scorers in college, there are concerns about whether he can make the jump from that level to pro hockey. With two years of college eligibility remaining, hIs success to this point suggests that he can be a top-six forward down the road and he could consider signing an entry-level contract before he graduates. If he does not reach the NHL level, Fitzgerald would likely be a popular target for European clubs looking to sign him to a lucrative contract.

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