2010-11: Ryan Donato suffered a broken femur which kept him from playing sports for most of the year.
2011-12: Donato played for the U16 Cape Cod Whalers and was the third-leading scorer for the Dexter School in Massachusetts as a freshman. He scored 6 goals with 2 assists and had 4 penalty minutes in 12 games for the Whalers. Donato scored 14 goals with 22 assists in 26 games for Dexter. Coached by Donato’s uncle, Dan Donato, Dexter reached the semifinals of the NEPSIHA small school tournament and finished 18-9-3. Donato was invited to USA Hockey’s Select 16 Development Camp and was named to the U17 team for the 2012 Five Nations Tournament in August.
2012-13: Donato had 1 assist in four games for the gold medal-winning USA team at the Five Nations Tournament in Chomutov in August before returning to New England to skate for the Cape Cod Whalers and Dexter School. In 12 games with the Whalers he scored 18 goals with 14 assists and had 6 penalty minutes. Donato was Dexter’s leading scorer and finished second amongst New England prep school players with 29 goals and 31 assists in 28 games. Dexter, participating in the Stuart/Corkery Tournament featuring mostly large schools, lost to Kent 7-1 in the quarterfinals. Donato participated in USA Hockey’s Select 17 Development Camp.
2013-14: Donato played for the Cape Cod Whalers U18 team before returning to Dexter for his junior season. He scored 8 goals with 9 assists and had 33 penalty minutes in nine games for the Whalers. Donato was the leading scorer in New England prep school hockey; scoring 37 goals with 41 assists in 30 games. Dexter reached the finals of the NEPSIHA small school tournament. Donato scored the lone Dexter goal in a 5-1 loss to Kimball Union. In January he committed to playing college hockey at Harvard in 2015-16. Donato played in the 2013 USA Hockey/CCCM All-American Prospects game and was ranked 54th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings prior to the 2014 NHL Draft.