The Buffalo Sabres have inked one of their more experienced prospects to his first pro contract. The team has announced that 2016 third-round pick Casey Fitzgerald has signed an entry-level deal. It is a two-year pact that begins in the 2019-20 season. The 22-year-old defenseman has additionally signed an ATO with the Rochester Americans and will close out the year with the Sabres’ affiliate.
Fitzgerald wrapped up a four-year career at Boston College this past weekend, as the Eagles came within one win of an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament but fell short. Fitzgerald was initially drafted by Buffalo after his freshman year at BC, which also ended up being his most productive with 27 points in 39 games to go with a whopping +27 rating. He had also spent time with the U.S. National Team Development Program and played for several World Juniors entries. The captain of the Eagles for the past two years, Fitzgerald’s offense may not have continued climbing, but he developed into an intelligent, two-way defenseman and a locker room leader.
Those are traits that run in the family, of course. Fitzgerald’s father, Tom, enjoyed a 16-year NHL career and is currently the Assistant GM of the New Jersey Devils, while his older brother, Ryan, is currently in the Boston Bruins system. The extended family also includes Jimmy and Kevin Hayes and Keith Tkachuk and sons Matthew and Brady. Casey is the latest addition to a Boston area family with deep connections to the NHL and hopes to make a name for himself like so many of them have.