Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald – Draft-Eligible Prospects with NHL Bloodline’s

LOWELL, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Casey Fitzgerald #5 of the Boston College Eagles skates against the Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks during NCAA hockey at the Tsongas Center on February 27, 2016 in Lowell, Massachusetts. The River Hawks won 3-1. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
LOWELL, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Casey Fitzgerald #5 of the Boston College Eagles skates against the Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks during NCAA hockey at the Tsongas Center on February 27, 2016 in Lowell, Massachusetts. The River Hawks won 3-1. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald – Prospects with NHL Bloodline’s

Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald is number five on our list in a series dedicated to draft-eligible prospects with current or past family ties to the NHL.

This late bloomer went undrafted in 2015, but unlikely to repeat in 2016. Casey is the son of former NHLer Tom Fitzgerald, drafted 17th overall by New York Islanders back in 1986. Casey is also a cousin of both Jimmy/Kevin Hayes, and Matt/Keith Tkachuk. Casey’s Brother, Ryan, was selected in the 4th round by Boston back in 2013. Ryan Fitzgerald has 40 points in 33 games in 2015-16 – playing in his third year with Boston College.

Matthew Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Nylander, Kieffer Bellows, and Logan Brown are the first names to come to mind for 2016 draft-eligible prospects with current/or former NHL bloodline’s.

Both Keith Tkachuk and Michael Nylander had long, successful careers. Brian Bellows played nearly 1200 games, producing more than 1000 points. Jeff Brown also had a solid career posting 585 points in 747 points from the back-end. Jeff Chychrun was a 1984 draft pick, a veteran of 262 games playing until 1993-94, finishing his career with AHL Cape Breton.

We are featuring 15 draft-eligible prospects with NHL bloodline’s/family ties. The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York at the First Niagara Center.

NHL Bloodline’s: Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald

Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald
Father: Tom Fitzgerald
Brother: Ryan Fitzgerald
Cousins: Kevin/Jimmy Hayes, Matt/Keith Tkachuk

After being drafted, Tom Fitzgerald spent the next two seasons playing for Providence College.

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He eventually started his pro career in 1988-89, splitting the season between AHL Springfield and New York. He had 42 points in 61 games with AHL Springfield, adding eight points in 23 games his NHL rookie season. Tom spent more time with New York in 1990-91, posting 10 points in 41 games. He also suited up for AHL Capital District, tallying 14 points in 27 contests. Almost breaking through in 1991-92, Tom only spent four games with Capital Distract. He recorded 17 points in 45 games with the New York Islanders.

Finally earning full-time NHL duties in 1992-93, Tom Fitzgerald appeared in 77 games, producing 27 points. He also posted seven points in 18 playoff games. Going unprotected in the 1993 NHL Expansion Draft, Tom Fitzgerald was selected by the Florida Panthers.

His time spent with Florida between 1993-94 and 1997-98 were his glory years during a long illustrious career. He produced 121 points in 353 games over that span, with a single season high of 34 points in 1995-96. Tom went on to add eight points in 22 games during Florida’s memorable Stanley Cup Final run in 1995-96 – eventually losing to Colorado.

After spending a year in Colorado (1997-98), Tom Fitzgerald was selected in 1998’s Expansion Draft – this time by Nashville. He spent the next four seasons with the Preds before being traded to Chicago at the trade deadline in 2001-02. After a short-stint as a rental player, Tom joined the Toronto Maple Leafs for the next two seasons. He sat out the 2004-05 Lockout season, then joined Boston in 2005-06 to play his final NHL season.

Tom Fitzgerald played 17 seasons in the NHL, appearing in 1097 career games, posting 329 points. He also produced 19 points in 78 playoff appearances.

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Tom was hired as Director of Player Development for Pittsburgh back in 2007-08. After two years, he was promoted to Assistant GM in 2009-10. Tom served in that role until 2014-15 when Ray Shero was relieved of his duties. He’s since joined Shero in New Jersey in 2015-16 as Assistant GM.

Tom Facts:

– Tom Fitzgerald and Gary Roberts both played their 1000th NHL game on January 13th, 2004 against the Calgary Flames.
– He won a Calder Cup Championship with the Springfield Indians in 1989-90.
He played parts of five seasons for the Islanders and the first player in NHL playoff history to score two shorthanded goals on the same minor penalty, against the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 2, 1993, which also equaled the NHL record for shorthanded goals by a player in one game. [Wikipedia]

Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald – 108th Ranked North American Skater

Standing 5’11 185lbs, Casey is only slightly smaller than his father’s 6’0 194lbs stature. He is slightly undersized for an NHL defensemen, and will need to add some weight.

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  • He joined the US National Development Program in 2013-14, posting 12 points in 52 games for the U17 squad. Casey also produced three points in 33 games with USHL’s Team USA. He also represented the USA squad at the World U17 Hockey Challenge, posting two points in six games.

    Joining the U18 team in 2014-15, Casey Fitzgerald posted 25 points in 57 games. He also played 22 games for USHL’s Team USA, tallying eight points. Casey once again represented his country at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament (World U18’s), producing four points in seven games.

    In 2015-16, Casey joined his brother Ryan at Boston College. He has more offensive upside than Ryan, who was selected in the 4th round back in 2013. Casey has the potential to be a college hockey star on the back-end over the next few years. He’s a tough, rugged defender who plays a responsible well-rounded game.

    Ryan Kennedy via The Hockey News,

    Call it a stereotype, but Fitzgerald has a certain scrappiness that makes sense for a 5-foot-11, 186-pound kid from New England.

    “I pride myself on my defense,” he said. “I’m a smaller guy, but I try to play like I’m 6-foot-5. I also take pride in my first pass – make sure it’s hard and tape-to-tape.”

    “I have great resources,” (Casey) Fitzgerald said. “Any change I get I ask them for tips, it’s been a lot easier with them on my side.”

    Fitzgerald does pretty much everything quick on the ice, from his skating to his puckhandling. He’ll also step up quick and throw hits on bigger players, which gets back to that scrappy factor.

    The video below features some highlights from a 2015-16 Boston College game vs. RIT back in November 2015. Both Fitzgerald brothers make an appearance.

    Next: NHL Bloodline's: USHS D Kenny Johnson

    2016 Draft-Eligible Prospects With NHL Bloodline’s:
    *NHL family ties in parentheses

    | Ty Ronning (Cliff) | Riley Stillman (Cory) | Graham McPhee (George) | Kenny Johnson (Jack) | Casey Fitzgerald (Tom) | Mathieu Sevigny (Pierre) | Luke McInnis (Marty) | Hudson Elynuik (Pat) | Ben Hawerchuk (Dale) | Hayden Verbeek (Pat) | Garrett Pilon (Rich) | Kelly and Kevin Klima (Petr) | David Quenneville (John, Joel) | Fredrik Forsberg (Filip) | Kristian Reichel (Robert)

    In 2015-16, Boston College D Casey Fitzgerald has 22 points in 32 games, with a plus 24 (+24) rating in his college hockey rookie season.