Ryan Donato is headed to the minors.
The Boston Bruins announced Thursday that Donato has been assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence. Donato has struggled at times this season, particularly away from the puck, so the trip down to Providence will give the 22-year-old an opportunity to work on his all-around game without the pressure of an NHL environment.
Donato, a second-round pick in 2014, made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 12 regular-season games and three playoff contests for Boston. The Harvard product, son of former Bruins forward Ted Donato, flashed some of his scoring potential, totaling five goals and four assists for nine points.
This season has been a different story, though, as Donato has struggled defensively and with the physicality of the NHL. He has only one goal in 11 games, forcing the Bruins to make a move as head coach Bruce Cassidy searches for a spark beyond Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
Donato, a Scituate, Mass. native, played for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He finished tied for the most goals in the Olympics with five in five games.