Bruins sign US Olympic star Ryan Donato to entry-level deal

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Originally drafted by the Bruins in 2014, Donato played one season in the USHL with Omaha before enrolling at Harvard and playing for his dad, Ted. "He's going to be another player that the coach will have an opportunity to play".

After his junior season ended with Harvard on Friday in a loss in the Eastern College Athletic Conference semifinals, Donato inked a two-year entry level contract with the Bruins.

Ryan Donato #16 of the United States celebrates after scoring a goal against Czech Republic in the first period during the Men's Play-offs Quarterfinals on day twelve of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 21, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. I still think I am, and that I've got a few good years ahead of me. "That's what I'd like to see more of here, to be honest with you".

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Clearly, the memories of the younger Donato are notable for Bergeron, and they are doubly so for a young guy in Donato who's idolized No. 37.

"Just work hard", Donato said of his father's message to him.

It's still unclear how much of an impact Donato is going to make jumping straight from the NCAAs to the National Hockey League, but he's ready to start living out his National Hockey League dreams with the Bruins team that also drafted and developed his dad 30 years ago.

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Cassidy is trying to bring stability to the Bruins' four lines with key components like center Patrice Bergeron (fractured right foot) and wingers Jake DeBrusk (upper body) and David Backes (lacerated knee) out of the lineup.

Donato put himself on the map earlier this winter as the breakout star for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics, tying for most goals at the Games with five goals over five games. I think it was an opportunity on both sides to explore with Ryan and see where he's at.

"We just worked through what looked like the opportunity (Donato) was looking for, and we were happy to provide that", said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, a former B's teammate of Ted Donato's and also a Harvard product. "The expectations are to go out and play your game and we are not expecting him to do any more than that". "Obviously, it's pretty insane".

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"I am planning on finishing this semester academically", said Gionta. "Even going on out there for a skate, it just didn't feel real yet". I want to cherish every second of it.

With a strong Bruins support system headed by a couple of his father's former National Hockey League teammates in Don Sweeney and Cam Neely- who have known him since he was a little kid - and a roster primed for a long playoff run, the younger Donato couldn't be asking for a better situation to show what he can do in the National Hockey League. That season, Donato tallied 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 total points in 36 games played.

"At the end of the day I want to graduate as well", Donato said after the USA was eliminated at the Olympics.

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