The Boston Bruins finally make it official with star prospect and Harvard men’s hockey leading scorer Ryan Donato.
The Bruins are gearing up for their Stanley Cup playoff run, and they’ll get a little extra help from star prospect Ryan Donato, whom they signed to a two-year, entry-level contract on Sunday:
Boston selected the Harvard product with the No. 56 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, his first year of eligibility, and he’s been turning heads as he’s built his reputation since then. Finally, on Sunday, Donato elected to turn pro and sign his entry-level contract with the Bruins.
Donato leaves Harvard as a junior, having led the Crimson in scoring this season with 26 goals and 17 assists for 43 points in only 29 games.
He also turned heads on an otherwise lackluster Team USA roster lacking any NHL players, leading the Olympic team in points with six points, including five goals, in five games. Donato played in PyeongChang with fellow Boston Bruin Brian Gionta.
Needless to say, Bruins fans have been watching Donato closely and are hyped that he’ll finally be suiting up in the Black and Gold.
As for when that could happen…how’s tomorrow night sound? Donato will be eligible to suit up as early as tomorrow’s tilt at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
And given the current state of the Bruins roster, which is missing fowards Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk and center David Backes, that’s a proposition you might want to bet on.
General manager Don Sweeney had warm praise for Donato deciding to join the organization:
"It came together in pretty short order. We had always been committed to providing the opportunity to Ryan if and when he decided to leave school…I think it was an opportunity on both sides to explore with Ryan and see where he’s at. He’s a kid that’s got a confidence about himself, a talent level, and he’s got some details he’s gonna have to work on — all young players do. But he’s a player that has hard skill. We’re looking forward to having him…get immersed and get a taste."
Donato, the son of former Boston Bruin Ted Donato, has all the makings of a hometown hero. The 21-year-old grew up in nearby Scituate, Massachusetts, and made his junior debut with the South Shore Kings in the United States Premier Hockey League.