Ryan Donato’s run with the Minnesota Wild hasn’t gone according to plan, and it appears that’s prompted some teams to call and check in.
The young forward was acquired by Minnesota last season in the deal that sent Charlie Coyle to the Boston Bruins. Since landing with the Wild, Donato, who was a gifted scorer as an amateur, is slashing 5-14-19 in 38 games. And though he had nice stretches last campaign, he’s managed just one goal and two assists in 16 games this season, gotten moved to pretty much every line in an attempt to get him going and already has been healthy scratched. That comes after signing a two-year, $3.8 million deal over the summer as a restricted free agent.
In his weekly “31 Thoughts” column, SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman indicated that Donato’s name has been floated around the league.
“A couple of sources said they heard Ryan Donato’s name out there, but I think Minnesota’s plans are to be patient with him,” Friedman wrote. “This could be a case where teams are trying to see if a talented young player can be poached because he was acquired by the previous regime.”
Indeed, ex-Bruin Bill Guerin now is running the show in Minnesota, and the Donato acquisition was not his doing. But you could understand why the Wild would be willing to wait it out longer with Donato given his performance with Team USA and Harvard is tantalizing enough to warrant patience — especially since the playoffs are a longshot for the Wild.
Minnesota will travel to Boston next Saturday to take on the Bruins.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images