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 the Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings. He was ranked 58th in the CSS final rankings and was selected by Boston in the second round (56th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Donato joined the USHL’s Omaha Lancers in March following his senior season at Dexter School and played for the South Shore Kings. He appeared in four games with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program’s U18 team. He scored 5 goals with 5 assists and had 4 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Kings. Donato had no points and 2 penalty minutes in four games with the NTDP U18 team. Dexter reached the Elite 8 Championship game, falling 3-1 to Salisbury.
Donato is the son of one-time Bruin forward and current Harvard head coach Ted Donato. Still fairly early in the development process, he has been a dominant scorer at the prep school level in Massachusetts and should have time to refine his game and mature physically during his college career. His skating is a concern as he is viewed as not having elite speed to compete at the higher levels but he is a cerebral player who understands the game in all three zones. He creates offense using his instincts and shooting skill and is good at supporting the play and finding options in the offensive zone.
Donato recently completed his high school career and will finish the 2014-15 season with the USHL's Omaha Lancers before heading to Harvard for his freshman season in the fall. While his scoring instincts and hockey IQ is first-rate he will likely use most of his college eligibility in maturing physically, increasing his mobility and refining his all around game. Long-term Donato has the ability to be an effective two-way player at the NHL level. He has some significant progress to make to one day fulfill that potential.