2008-09: Daniel O’Donoghue played for the New York Bobcats in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League. An assistant captain, he scored 17 goals with 18 assists and 32 penalty minutes in 39 games. He was selected by Des Moines in the fifth round (54th overall) of the 2009 USHL Entry Draft. O’Donoghue was ranked 210th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2009 NHL Draft but was not selected.
2009-10: O’ Donoghue played 39 games for Des Moines in his first USHL season and played 14 games with the New York Bobcats (including four playoff games). He scored 6 goals with 2 assists and was -9 with 42 penalty minutes in USHL play. The Buccaneers missed the playoffs after finishing sixth in the West Conference. O’ Donoghue scored 6 goals with 6 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 10 regular season games with the Bobcats and had 3 goals with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes in the AJHL playoffs. In December he committed to playing college hockey at Mercyhurst in 2011-12.
2010-11: O’Donoghue skated in all 37 games for Mercyhurst in his freshman season. He scored 10 goals with 10 assists and was +5 with 20 penalty minutes. The Lakers finished seventh in the 12-team Atlantic Hockey League; defeating Niagara in the preliminary round before falling to Connecticut in the conference quarterfinals.
2011-12: O’Donoghue played 39 games for Mercyhurst in his sophomore season. He scored 8 goals with 12 assists and was -2 with 39 penalty minutes. Mercyhurst finished fourth in Atlantic Hockey; reaching the conference tournament semifinals before falling to regular season and playoff champion Air Force.
2012-13: O’Donoghue was the third-leading scorer for Mercyhurst in his junior season — scoring 12 goals and finishing second on the Lakers with 24 assists in 41 games. He was +15 with 33 penalty minutes. After finishing sixth in Atlantic Hockey the Lakers had a successful playoff run; reaching the league’s championship game before falling to seventh-place Canisius.
2013-14: O’Donoghue made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Portland Pirates after signing a two-year, entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes in April following his senior season at Mercyhurst. In three AHL games he was -1 with no points nor penalties. The Pirates missed the playoffs, finishing last in the Atlantic Division. O’Donoghue was the second-leading scorer for Mercyhurst in his final season of college hockey. He scored 15 goals with 28 assists and was +16 with 41 penalty minutes in 41 games for the Lakers. Mercyhurst was the regular season champion in Atlantic Hockey but did not receive an NCAA tournament bid after a double overtime loss to Canisius in the conference semifinals.
2014-15: O’Donoghue shuffled between Arizona AHL affiliate Portland and the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators in his first pro season. In 16 games with the Pirates he was -3 with no points and 2 penalty minutes. Portland finished fourth in the Atlantic Division, falling to eventual Calder Cup champion Manchester in a first-round playoff series. O’Donoghue did not play in any playoff games. He scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -9 with 19 penalty minutes in 23 ECHL games for the Gladiators.
2015-16: O’Donoghue began the season in the Coyotes’ organization before being acquired by Pittsburgh in February 2016 as part of the multi-player trade that sent Matia Marcantuoni to Arizona. He played 18 games with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, spending most of the season in the ECHL. O’Donoghue scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was -2 with 6 penalty minutes with the Falcons. In 30 games with the Rapid City Rush prior to the trade, he scored 6 goals with 5 assists and was -12 with 26 penalty minutes. O’Donoghue had 6 assists and was +4 with 8 penalty minutes in 18 regular season games for Pittsburgh ECHL affiliate Wheeling. The Nailers finished second in the North Division, defeating the Florida Everblades in a first-round series and facing Reading in the Eastern Conference semifinals.Through five playoff games O’Donoghue was +3 with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes.
O'Donoghue has been an effective penalty killer and role player in the early stages of his pro career. Despite his size he is not an overly combative player and has not yet shown the offensive game to be the point-per-game scorer he was in college hockey. O'Donoghue is an intelligent player that can carve out a role for himself with astute positioning and shot blocking.
O'Donoghue was dealt by the Arizona Coyotes along with Dustin Jeffrey and James Melindy in exchange for Matia Marcantuoni. At the end of his original two-year entry-level contract, O'Donoghue appeared in just 18 AHL games in 2015-16. He does not appear likely to be tendered a qualifying offer by the Penguins, making him an unrestricted free agent. His NHL potential appears limited.