Ryan Fitzgerald

Darren Walker

Fitzgerald is of the smartest prospects in this draft class. He is a very smooth skater, reaching good speeds north-south. He also works very well in tight spaces. His slick feet and good agility make him great skating through traffic. When skating through seams in the defense, he seems to turn it to a new gear and explodes through them. Fitzgerald has slick hands, allowing him to be creative and try to deke through defenders. His good hands also allow him to maintain the puck at high speeds and in traffic. His strength is his passing, playmaking ability, impressive vision and playmaking ability too. He is that player that always seems to be around the net. He could work a bit on his accuracy, but he has a quick release and a hard shot that he gets off smartly – through screens or when a goaltender is not expecting it. Fitzgerald does not always engage himself in the play defensively but when he does he works very hard. He’s an effective PKer, who can strip the puck off a defender and generate a scoring chance in one motion. The size is somewhat a concern considering he plays center, but his hockey sense is so re ned that a 5-foot-10 center isn’t absurd in his case. Smart player- and his ability to play both ways making him a pretty solid pro prospect. (May 2013)