Now that the dust has settled on the Olympics we can now look back and analyze what Ryan Donato accomplished over in Korea.
To no surprise here, we had him ranked as the Bruins number 1 prospect in our mid season Top 10, Donato used the Olympics as his coming out party for the all Americans and non-Bruins fans everywhere.
I wouldn’t say Donato was Team USA’s best player because I think that goes to Ducks prospect Troy Terry but there is no denying that he was the best goal scorer for Team USA, and maybe in the whole tournament. He scored 5 goals and added an assist in his 5 games played. He was also named by NBC Sports the third star of the entire Men’s Hockey tournament.
Donato may have vaulted himself to being one of the best prospects in hockey with his play. Most of his goals at the Olympics showed his elite release and deadly shot. But there was one goal in particular that showed his skill set and great hockey sense. The goal was the second goal in the first Slovakia game:
As you can see from the tweet above Donato, who is a left shot, catches the pass on his forehand to the left of the net. Instead of doing the anticipated move to his right, directly to the net, he took a step up and spun to the left doing a 180 to protect the puck and slipped the puck five hole. This was very impressive to me largely because most players would have kept the puck on their forehand and then drive directly to the net.
Team USA’s best players were three of their four college players in Donato, Terry, and Jordan Greenway from Boston University. It makes you wonder why Team USA did not add more college players to the roster. Maybe someone like Casey Mittelstadt would have been a good fit on the big ice. It also makes you wonder what the level of play was. Certainly not great when Germany won Silver and could have won gold.
Now Donato is back with his Harvard teammates after missing 4 games where the Crimson went 3-1 during his absence. Donato came back this past weekend and played in both of Harvard’s games, both loses, but he did score a goal and picked up an assist Friday night against Brown. He now has 22 goals and 11 assists for 33 points in 25 games played.
Donato should be a Hobey Baker finalist but he might not get there due to the amount of games he has played. His 33 points puts him in 38th in scoring in the country. If he did not go to an Ivy League school (limited schedule) and didn’t participate in the Olympics he would have played in about 10 more NCAA games by now.
Despite being 38th in scoring the one stat in Donato’s favor is points per game. The only players that have a higher points per game average sit in the top 6 in scoring in Adam Gaudette at Northeastern (1.6471), Dylan Sikura at Northeastern (1.5484), Dylan McLaughlin at Canisius (1.3333), Max Veronneau at Princeton (1.5172), Nick Holloman at Colorado College (1.3125), Henrik Borges at Denver (1.3226) and Ryan Kuffner at Princeton (1.4138).
Now, nothing against Dylan McLaughlin but his Canisius team is in the Atlantic Hockey League. The Atlantic is not at the same level as the other conferences in NCAA Division 1. And Nick Holloran is below Donato, who has 1.32 points-per-game.
Rumors where running rampant that Donato was going to sign with the Bruins when the Olympics were over but that did not happen. However it is a forgone conclusion that he will sign once the Harvard season is over. And maybe we will even see him in Boston. At the very least he will play in Providence.
Soon enough Ryan Donato will not be showing up on our BostonPucks.com prospect of the week blog. But until then he might continue to be frequent honoree.
Zane McIntyre is quietly putting together a good season with Providence. He has pitched a shutout in almost half of his last 12 games (5 shutouts) and is sporting a solid .912 save percentage and 2.45 GAA to go along with a 19-11-4 record.
Jack Studnicka continues to have a solid season for the OHL Oshawa Generals. It is only fitting that the Bruins were affiliated with the Generals back in the day, i.e. see Bobby Orr story. Studnicka recorded 2 goals and 3 assists in three games this past week. He has also added another assist this week. He currently has 16 goals, 45 assists for 61 points in 59 games. He is tied for 27th in the OHL in scoring and is tied with Owen Tippet who was taken 10th overall by the Florida Panthers, 43 picks before Studnicka in last year’s draft.
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