It's back to business as usual for Sharks prospect Cavan Fitzgerald. And for Fitzgerald, his business is putting up gaudy offensive numbers.
The 20-year-old is an exciting offensive defenseman and the captain of the Shawnigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. Last weekend against Baie-Comeau, Fitzgerald exploded for a 5-point night - a hat trick and two assists.
But Fitzgerald was quick to credit his team, calling it "a real team victory."
Maybe it gets easier to deflect credit away from yourself when you're so used to putting up big numbers.
On the season, Fitzgerald has 29 points (12-17=29) in 24 games with the Cataractes. Despite missing a third of the season so far, his 12 goals still lead all defenseman in the QMJHL.
Fitzgerald just returned to the lineup a few games ago after missing 13 games due to an upper body injury on November 9.
"Fitzgerald is starting to find his rhythm," Shawnigan head coach Claude Bouchard said. "When you come back from a long-term injury, it is normal to show some signs of rust, especially in this league. Lately, he's been dominant both offensively and defensively, like we used to see from him before he got hurt."
The team has done very well since his return, going 6-1 in his time back.
The Boston native stands at 6'1" 196 pounds. With his shot and prowess on the powerplay, he could potentially fit into the Sharks systems well -perhaps playing the role of a left-handed version of Tim Heed with the Barracuda or Brent Burns on the man-advantage.
"Fitzgerald has decent size, skates well and his puck skills are solid as well," Zachary Devine of Dobber Prospects said. "Fitzgerald was not drafted into the QMJHL nor the NHL but, as the saying goes, hard work pays off," Devine said.
The Sharks signed Fitzgerald as a free agent on Oct. 7, 2015. He had attended the Sharks 2015 training camp as a tryout player and had been playing with current Shark Timo Meier on the Halifax Mooseheads when he caught the Sharks' attention.
With all the offensive skill Fitzgerald is showing, it may not be too long before they're teammates again.
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