By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Looks like the Bruins feel Ryan Donato has had enough seasoning for now. The team has announced that they’re calling up the 22-year-old forward from Providence ahead of Thursday night’s tilt against the New York Islanders.
There’s no corresponding move just yet. Assuming nothing changes on injured reserve, Anders Bjork would be a logical choice to head back to the AHL given his recent struggles.
Donato scored just one goal in 11 games with Boston before being sent down to Providence, where he scored five goals and four assists in 10 games after the demotion. The young forward continued to have issues with his defensive game and the increased physicality and intensity at the NHL level. So if he can’t light the lamp, it makes sense to give him time to unlock his scoring touch and work on the finer points of his game in the minors.
These things shouldn’t be a shock. Donato went from playing for Harvard to Team USA to the Boston Bruins in a span of basically a couple of months last season. Some growing pains should be expected for a then-21-year-old prospect who completely bypassed the minors to jump right to the highest level as a pro.
At the same time, Donato has also shown his potential as a scorer already with five goals and nine points in his first 12 NHL games last season.
There’s a chance you see Donato right back in the Boston lineup on Thursday night against the Isles. It won’t be long before we see how much his time in the AHL helped him.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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