Devils ‘draft’ 13-year-old with cystic fibrosis
A Toms River 13-year-old, Reilly Hoagland, was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL draft, thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Reilly’s wish was to be part of his favorite hockey team, and the Devils made it happen, showing up at his home with his jersey and honorary contract delivered by former Devils players Bruce Driver and Grant Marshall and the Devils’ mascot, NJ, with a special videotaped message from Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald.
“On behalf of the New Jersey Devils organization, I would like to welcome you and your family to our family,” general manager and executive vice president Tom Fitzgerald told Reilly. “I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about you, from your speed, your shot, your passion, your commitment — all the characteristics we value as a New Jersey Devil. I look forward to seeing you at the rink soon.”
According to the Asbury Park Press, Reilly plays wing for the Toms River Blackhawks youth hockey team, where he wears #8, which is the number on his new Devils jersey; Reilly also got to play driveway hockey with Driver, Marshall, and NJ.
The Devils will also host Reilly and his family at a game at the Prudential Center, once the COVID restrictions are lifted.
Reilly was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a youth and receives daily treatments. Make-A-Wish officials say that while travel-related wishes or those that involve large gatherings have been postponed for the well-being of wish kids and families due to current medical and public concerns, the organization remains steadfast in its mission and reaffirms to the community, and to wish families.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.