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Donato realizes dream, joins Bruins

Boston Herald
March 19. 2018 10:40PM
Mar 19, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Ryan Donato (17) reacts with center Riley Nash (20) after Nash scored a goal during the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Ryan Donato has seemed destined to become a Boston Bruin for a long time now and, in the end, neither he nor the team wasted any time in getting a deal done.

Donato’s Harvard University team was bounced from the ECAC tournament last Friday night, and Sunday night the winger signed a two-year entry-level NHL contract with the Bruins.

Drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft (56th overall), Donato could have become an unrestricted free agent in June, but his family advisor/agent Matt Keator said that was never an appealing option. He finished up his junior season with 26 goals and 17 assists along with a plus-15 rating.

“He’s a hometown kid whose father (Ted, also Ryan’s coach at Harvard) played for the Bruins. He’s going to a great team and will be in a great situation. And they’ve treated him great since he was drafted in all the development camps,” Keator said. “His dream has always been to win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins.”

The 21-year-old Scituate, Mass., native left Harvard in February to play for Team USA at the Olympics in South Korea and excelled on the international stage, posting five goals and six points in five games before the Americans bowed out in the quarterfinals to the Czech Republic.

It will be Boston or bust this season for Donato. He is not eligible to play in Providence and take part in a potential long run for the farm club in the AHL.

Gaudette wins award

Northeastern University’s Adam Gaudette, who leads the nation in scoring with 30 goals and 30 assists, on Monday was named the 66th Walter Brown Award winner. The award, presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, goes to the top U.S.-born college hockey player in New England.

Gaudette is from Braintree, Mass. Other finalists were Donato and Providence College’s Erik Foley, of Mansfield, Mass.

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