Weeks after being named the Most Valuable Player at the USA Hockey All-Prospects Game in Buffalo (NY), VJW Junior A standout Ryan Fitzgerald was named to the USA Junior Select Team that will compete in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge this month in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The North Reading resident and Boston College commit is the only skater on the 22-player roster who currently isn't on a United States Hockey League roster.
“It has been a pretty incredible time,” said Fitzgerald, who stands tied for second on the VJW squad with three goals and 9 assists. “It was unbelievable to play in front of that many people at the All Prospects game and I was able to meet so many great people. Those are memories that I will keep with me the rest of my life.”
Whether it was meeting Scott Bowman for the first time or getting some pre-game advice from Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff, Fitzgerald was up to the challenge at the All Prospects game where he notched three assists and won 11 of 12 faceoffs en route to being named the game's MVP.
“Ryan continues to prove that he is one of the most dominating players in the league,” said Andy Heinze, the head coach/general manager of the VJW Junior A team. “There is no question that he can compete with the best players, and this entire year will prepare him for what will no doubt be an outstanding college career.”
The under-20 tournament takes place Nov. 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Team USA has won three of the last four tournaments (2008-10) and placed
third in 2011.
Twenty-one of the 22 players are from the United States Hockey League.
The Eastern Junior Hockey League has one representative.