BOSTON (CBS) — Ryan Donato will make his Boston Bruins debut on Monday night. But first, he had to practice with his new team.
The 21-year-old forward skated with his new teammates at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton on Monday morning, taking his spot on Boston’s third line alongside Noel Acciari and veteran Brian Gionta. Donato also skated on Boston’s first power play unit during the morning skate.
Donato, who was signed to a two-year, entry-level contract on Sunday, will sport the No. 17 sweater for Boston. He’ll get his first taste of NHL action against the Columbus Blue Jackets in front of his hometown fans at TD Garden on Monday night.
“It’s a whirlwind experience,” he said after the morning skate. “I’m really excited and it’s something I don’t want to happen too fast. I want to cherish every second of it.
“I just want to play well and do whatever I can to help the team. There hasn’t been too much said to me, I just know I have to go in confident and do what I can to help,” he added. “At the end of the day it’s just hockey. I’ve been doing it my whole life, so hopefully I can do it to the best of my abilities.”
A Boston native, Donato was a second-round pick by the Bruins in 2014. He had a stellar career at Harvard (playing for his father and former Bruin, Ted Donato) amassing 60 goals and 44 assists while with the Crimson. He scored 26 goals to go with 17 assists in 29 games at Harvard in 2017-18, and also led the United States with five goals and six points at the 2018 Olympics.