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Doors Open, Devils Awaiting Decision from Top Prospect

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald believe’s Seamus Casey is leaning toward turning pro, however, no decision has been made.



New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald addressed the media on Thursday at his end-of-season conference.

A plethora of topics were brought up from the Devils’ regression in 2023-24 to the decisions that are coming in the summer.

One of the decisions that could have been made already was whether or not the Devils’ top prospect, Seamus Casey, would turn pro or return to the University of Michigan for his junior year of college and another shot at the NCAA Frozen Four title.

Tom Fitzgerald revealed that he and Casey’s camp have been in contact, however, the prospect defenseman is undecided, though leaning toward turning pro.

“If I was a betting man, I would say he’s probably leaning towards turning pro. But, with that being said, we talked to him right before the national championship weekend,” Fitzgerald explained. “He wasn’t sure and there was no pressure at all from us. And to me, when you forfeit the rest of your college career, you need to be more than two feet in the water. You have to you have to jump right in and you have to really want this. Any hesitations then it may not work. So we’re gonna give him all the time he needs.”

The Michigan Wolverines are going to look a bit different next season. Top prospects Frank Nazar (Chicago Blackhawks), Luke Tuch (Montreal Canadiens), Gavin Brindley (Columbus Blue Jackets), and Dylan Duke (Tampa Bay Lightning) all signed their NHL entry-level contracts and decided to move on from the NCAA.

However, one of the Michigan powerhouses is returning next season as Winnipeg Jets prospect Rutger McGroarty committed to his junior year with the Wolverines.

Whether or not that weighs on Casey’s decision remains to be seen.

Certainly, one of the biggest factors in Casey’s decision will be where he is playing next season.

Will there be a spot for the 20-year-old blueliner on the Devils’ defense that is looking to upgrade this summer? Or will he need to go to Utica and play in the AHL with the Comets first?

Last summer, former head coach Lindy Ruff warned of becoming, “Too young too fast.” Certainly, that will be a factor in the back of Fitzgerald’s mind for a blueline that will certainly feature Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec again.

And that’s not a knock on either rookies season. They each were put in a difficult situation and quite frankly were asked to provide more than their means this season.

However, Fitzgerald will certainly be looking to add veteran upgrades via trade or free agency.

Regardless, the Devils have left the door open for Casey to make a decision. Either way, the Devils’ GM explained they support whatever that decision may be.

For now, it’s status quo with Seamus Casey.

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