After drafting a pair of European skaters with their first two picks in Sunday’s NHL draft, the Bruins used their third selection on a local kid.
The team chose North Reading, Mass., native Ryan Fitzgerald in the fourth round (No. 120 overall), and the 18-year-old center could not have been happier to put on the sweater of his hometown team.
“I think, every round, I was kind of holding my breath when the Bruins were picking,” Fitzgerald told BostonBruins.com. ”And finally they called my name, and it was definitely something special.”
Fitzgerald tallied 14 goals and 16 assists for the Valley Junior Warriors of the Eastern Junior Hockey League this season, and the 5-foot-10 forward has quite the hockey pedigree. Fitzgerald’s father, Tom, played the final season of his 17-year NHL career with Bruins and is now an assistant general manager with the Penguins, and his uncle, Scott, currently serves as the B’s assistant director of amateur scouting.
“I grew up with this.” Ryan said. “A lot of kids didn’t have this growing up with a dad who played and the bloodlines I have, so honestly, to come to this day and be part of the Bruins’ organization, is huge.
“Definitely seeing what they’ve done and being able to carry the torch here is definitely something big,” Fitzgerald said of his relatives. “They might have a little upper leg on me right now but hopefully I’ll catch up one day.”
Don’t expect Fitzgerald to make the leap to the NHL for at least another few years, but he isn’t going far. The recent Malden Catholic grad will play for Jerry York at Boston College this fall.
Video screenshot via BostonBruins.com