Ryan Donato has a bright future in the NHL and showed glimpses of his potential last season with the Boston Bruins.
But a slow start to the 2018-19 campaign (1 point in 11 games) had him packing his bags for the Providence Bruins on Friday. The move was intended for the 22-year-old to work on his game without feeling the big-league level pressure. The season is young, so Donato has plenty of time to build up his confidence and work on his puck management to be a solid center for the Black and Gold.
Though getting sent to the minors likely never feels rewarding, one Boston player knows what it’s like.
Torey Krug played 63 games for Providence during the 2012-13 season and credits his time there to how he developed as a professional hockey player. So once news broke that Donato would be spending some time in the minors, the veteran defenseman offered the youngster some simple advice.
“I let him know that it was the best thing that ever happened to me, was going to play in the AHL,” Krug said, via The Athletic’s Joe McDonald. “I hope he’s taking it with the right attitude. I let him know to go fine-tune your skills and get better at the things you need to get better at and next time you get called up hopefully it’s the last time.
“I’ve always thought everyone should play a little bit in the American League,” Krug added. “It teaches you a lot about how to be a professional. The ins and outs of the daily work that goes into the work habits that you develop over the years that correspond with what you’re doing at the NHL level.”
Donato’s future is in hands, and how he takes his AHL stint certainly relies on him. But if he takes Krug’s advice to heart, Bruins fans may see the young center back in the NHL sooner rather than later.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images