The Boston Bruins have watched a number of personnel across their hockey operations depart the organization over the last few months, and now it’s officially hit in their scouting department as well. Longtime Boston Bruins scout and current director of college scouting Scott Fitzgerald is exiting the B’s organization for a Director of Player Personnel post with the San Jose Sharks under newly hired general manager Mike Grier.
Thank you Scott Fitzgerald for 15 years with the Bruins organization. Best of luck in San Jose. pic.twitter.com/YtSJ7HODWY
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 1, 2022
San Jose Hockey Now colleague Sheng Peng was first on this Boston Bruins news last month before it was made official in the last couple of days. It’s a good move for Scott Fitzgerald, Grier and the Sharks organization as the Billerica-by-way-of-Charlestown native moves to an organization that’s always had strong New England ties with Melrose native Tim Burke holding a big say-so in the San Jose scouting organization.
Fitzgerald had been a key part of the Boston Bruins scouting department for the last 15 years and had played a role recently in many of the undrafted college hockey free agents like Torey Krug, Noel Acciari, Kevan Miller and Frank Vatrano that have really worked out for the B’s even as their draft pick talent hasn’t consistently cranked out NHL players.
The good news for the Bruins is that they still have some excellent college hockey talent evaluators with scouts like former B’s forward Brett Harkins and Ryan Nadeau working those talent pools. The Boston Bruins also veered away from that group in last month’s NHL draft with a number of European players and OHL prospects selected with their picks along with one US-born, college-hockey bound prospect in Cole Spicer.
Some have been critical of the Boston Bruins really drilling down on local hockey talent in recent amateur draft classes and, of course, there will always be those critical of the 2015 draft class. But some of the focus on US-born, college hockey players in recent years speaks to the faith that the entire Boston Bruins organization had in Fitzgerald’s evaluations on those kinds of players. Players that popped in recent development camps like Riley Duran, Ty Gallagher or even undrafted University of North Dakota free agent Riese Gaber at last month’s Boston Bruins development camp have a direct link back to the due diligence that guys like Fitzgerald, Harkins and Nadeau have done before zeroing in on those hockey players.
Undrafted University of North Dakota forward Riese Gaber has had a very good week at Bruins development camp. Shifty, creative & strong on his skates, he creates 3 scoring chances on this 3-on-3 shift. Also comes out of pile w/the puck as smallest guy in the scrum #hockeyplayer pic.twitter.com/0HDHsnz2BP
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 13, 2022
The bad news is that the Black and Gold are losing a member of Massachusetts hockey royalty with Fitzgerald a member of the extended Fitzgerald, Tkachuk and Hayes hockey family that’s had a dominant presence on the local hockey scene for the last 40 years. Fitzgerald has connections far and wide across the hockey world in addition to his honed hockey talent evaluation skills, and those are assets that will be missed in the Boston Bruins organization along with other excellent hockey men like Bruce Cassidy, Kevin Dean, Kim Brandvold, retiring athletic trainer Donnie DelNegro, John Ferguson Jr. and Jay Pandolfo that have exited the B’s organization over the last couple of years.