Ryan Donato isn’t your average NHL player.
The star prospect made his highly anticipated Boston Bruins debut Monday night, scoring a goal and logging two assists in the team’s overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. But Donato, who still is in his junior year at Harvard, didn’t fly to St. Louis with his teammates after the game. And when he was marked as absent for Tuesday’s practice, fans started to worry the 21-year-old phenom had become the latest addition to the Bruins’ injury list.
But fear not, Bruins fans: Donato is just fine.
Here’s Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy’s explanation for why the sociology major wasn’t on the ice:
Donato is going to have himself one heck of a busy spring. In addition to potentially participating in a deep playoff run with the Bruins, Donato also will be fulfilling his academic duties.
“I plan on finishing this semester academically,” Donato said Monday morning, via Bruins.com. “Obviously it’s gonna be difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. Obviously I’m putting that off a little bit, but for me I need to finish this semester to have that opportunity and not put it off an extra couple years.”
Tough to argue with that.
Donato likely will return to the lineup Wednesday night when the Bruins play the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. No word yet on whether he’ll carry his textbooks in his hockey bag.