NHL Draft 2016: Sabres take Casey Fitzgerald at #86
Sabres finally pick a defenseman, with Boston College's Casey Fitzgerald
With the 86th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Sabres have taken Casey Fitzgerald from Boston College. The defenseman is a product of the USNTDP system, and just turned 19 earlier this year in February. He will be a sophomore with the Eagles this upcoming season after having led all defensemen in scoring last year as a freshman as well as tied for the team lead with a +27 rating.
Fitzgerald was named to the Hockey East Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, and had the assist on the game winning power play goal as the Eagles advanced to the Frozen Four. He was the 11th highest-scoring defenseman in college hockey and second most productive rookie too.
Before college, the Massachusetts native was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team, finishing with the best plus/minus rating of the team with a +12 at the 2015 IIHF U-18 Men's World Championship.
Fitzgerald is the son of former NHLer, Tom Fitzgerald who played over a 1,000 games in the NHL. Tom Fitzgerald and Sabres coach Dan Bylsma won a Stanley Cup together on the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, and Bylsma has known Casey for most of his young life.
As added incentive in the Jimmy Vesey stakes, Fitzgerald also has been playing offseason hockey for years with Vesey and Jack Eichel in the Foxboro Summer League.
UPDATED 2:55pm, 6/25/2016