I know what you are going to say, “Ryan Donato, again?” This time however, it is a little different. I was able to see him play in person on Saturday night. And with that being said, he did not disappoint.

Leading up to the Harvard Crimson making the trek up I-93, to I-89 North, to Burlington, Vermont to compete in the Catamount Cup, I told my 7-year-old to watch #16 in red. Then Vermont ended up wearing their green third jerseys, so Harvard wore white. My bad.

As for my son, he is becoming a big Bruins fan. Of course this does not hurt my feelings when he prefers to watch Bruins games over the Thundermans or Henry Danger on Nickelodeon. He can only watch the 1st period before bedtime, but without fail he needs me to play him the game highlights the next morning when he wakes up. And he always asks what the score was.

So when it came to the Harvard/UVM game I sold him on it by telling him Ryan Donato is the Bruins #1 prospect. He was then pumped to go to the game. It didn’t hurt that it was Vermont’s macot Rally’s birthday party before the game either. My son and his friends also went over to where Harvard would come on the ice so they could fist bump Donato and the other Harvard players.

It didn’t take long for Donato to leave his mark on the game. A Vermont penalty within the first minute of the game put Harvard on the power play. Donato, playing the right side wall, made a beautiful cross ice pass to Ty Pelton-Byce for a one timer. And just like that it was 1-0 Harvard.

At 8:42 into the game Donato raced to a loose puck in the neutral zone and was one-on-one with a Vermont defenseman. He undressed the Vermont player with an outside-in move, under the defenseman’s stick, to get to his forehand and then ripped a shot past the Vermont goalie. A few minutes later Donato was in a similar situation but he just took a shot. He was at the end of his shift and looked fairly gassed.

With 18 seconds left in the first period Donato was in the slot and tipped a point shot home for his second goal of the period and third point of the night. Not a bad 1st period, would you say?

Donato finished off the hat trick with an empty net goal in the closing seconds of the 3rd period. He now has an eye popping 20 points (12 goals and 8 assists) in only 12 games.

Although Harvard beat the home town Vermont Catamounts 4-1 Donato’s hat trick made one 7-year-old a very happy boy. It also absolutely made my boy and his friend’s day with a simple fist bump from #16.

Ryan Donato added a goal in Friday’s game against UMass-Lowell as well. He finished the weekend with 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points.

And to make his New Year’s weekend even better, Donato was named to the USA Olympic team that is headed to South Korea in February. This is a huge honor to represent the United States just like his father Ted did in 1994.

This will certainly get me to watch to see how he sizes up against much older players.

For added measure my wife gave me her scouting report on Ryan Donato. Now, my wife did play college hockey so she does know the game, but her give a shit level at this point in life is really low. But she still said, “he is really good. He is always in the right spot.”

Traveling the country I get to see a lot of prospects play but it is always exciting to see a premiere Bruins prospect play in my backyard alongside my family. It makes it that much better when the player performs in top form and has a good game too.

Prospect Notes:

  • If it was not for Ryan Donato and seeing him play live Jack Studnicka would have been prospect of the week. Studnicka played 3 games and recorded a goal and 6 assists. He now has 40 points (11 goals and 29 assists) and is tied for 25th in OHL scoring.
  • A full World Junior Championship review will be coming in next week’s edition. Stay tuned.

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