Former Bruin Ryan Donato Has Put Up Great Numbers Since Trade To Wild

by NESN Staff

March 26, 2019

Ryan Donato entered the 2018-19 season with tremendous upside as an up-and-comer as a Bruins prospect, eyeing a spot in Boston’s top-six.

He spent 34 games with Boston this season, but also 18 with the Providence Bruins. He’ll finish the season a member of the Minnesota Wild — where he’s been a pretty productive player.

Boston shipped the 22-year winger and a draft pick to Minnesota in exchange for forward Charlie Coyle before the NHL trade deadline. The 2014 second-round pick started the season with the big-league club, and had one goal in 11 games before getting sent to Providence the first time. In those 34 games with Boston this season, Donato had just six goals and nine points.

In Minnesota? Donato’s been a nearly point-per-game player for the Wild, with four goals and 15 points over 17 games while averaging 15:49 time on ice, more than three minutes above what he averaged in Boston. He’s also rifled off 50 shots in 17 games, nearly matching the 74 he put on net in twice as many games with the Black and Gold.

A change of scenery and some consistent playing time in Minnesota seem to have jolted the winger.

But it was a move that made a ton of sense in the short-term for the Bruins, who were desperate for help at third line center and carried a ton of organizational depth on the flanks, with a plethora of young, left-shooting wingers. At the end of the day, Donato was the one who was shipped out.

Boston coupled that move with the acquisition of Marcus Johansson to solidify the wing on the second unit that Donato could not hold.

The jury still is very much out on if the Bruins cut bait too soon with the winger. Bruins fans knew Donato was a prospect that could score, but his defensive inefficiencies were apparent, and prevented him from skating second-unit minutes in Boston. While Coyle has not matched Donato’s point production since the trade, he has brought some consistency to the Bruins’ third line, and has shown the versatility to jump up and play wing on the second line.

But with the Bruins battling injury after injury, it’s hard not to wonder if Donato would have provided some help down the stretch.

Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images
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