In the past three NHL drafts, the Boston Bruins have made a habit of drafting Massachusetts natives. Whether GM Peter Chiarelli selects them solely on talent or knowing they are avid B’s fans, one thing is for sure: They all want to play for their hometown team. In 2012, the B’s selected Matthew Grzelcyk 85th overall, who hails from just over the river in Charlestown. The following year, in the fourth round, the B’s locked up Boston College forward Ryan Fitzgerald of North Reading, Mass.
This year, Bruins president Cam Neely called out a name in the second round that B’s fans in the 80s would have recognized. Ryan Donato, son of Teddy Donato who was drafted by the Bruins in 1987, was selected 56th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. Besides being another Massachusetts hockey phenom and an obvious Bruins fan, the 18-year-old has several years to develop while playing college hockey at Harvard under who else but his father, Teddy.
Of course hockey runs in the Donato blood, but there is a lot of potential that should make the Black and Gold excited about Donato’s future. A center man with great vision on the ice, Donato opens up lanes for his teammates. As a junior at Dexter School in Brookline, Mass., Donato netted 37 goals to combine for 78 points in just 30 games.
A clear goal scorer, Donato uses his speed and agility to elude defenders, and despite his relatively small stature, he can duke it out with bigger defensemen in the corners.
The Bruins had the luxury of drafting this kid in the second round. His development will surely continue at Harvard, and hopefully his old man can give him a few pointers to be successful in the show.