Ryan Donato was assigned to the AHL On Thursday
The Boston Bruins announced that after a slow start to the season in the NHL, the assignment to Providence will give Donato the opportunity to work on his game and rebuild his confidence in the AHL.
The 22-year-old forward Ryan Donato
burst onto the scene last season after a terrific college campaign and a wonderful showing at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Donato appeared in 12 regular season games last season for the Bruins and picked up five goals and four assists for the club. Once the playoffs rolled around, his flaws were exposed and ever since then it seems that his confidence has been shaken.
Through 11 games this season, Donato has just one goal. Along with his lack of production, he’s been getting easily pushed off of pucks and his play away from the puck has been far less than ideal. Losing battles, a lack of production, and a lack of luck (his beauty of a goal on Carey Price was called back because of offsides) can really damage the confidence of a young player in the NHL. Getting to Providence and finding his game should be real helpful to the young Bruin.
The early season struggles of Donato can’t solely be blamed on him, however. The Bruins brass neglected to address a need this offseason, which has hurt the young Bruins who haven’t been able to crack the top-6. The club doesn’t have a legitimate third line center. Joakim Nordstrom is a guy that can play the role, but he hasn’t gotten the team the production they need from that position. Due to that lack of a scoring center, guys like Donato and Anders Bjork have seen their production struggle. If the team wants more production from their third line then they need to address the issue in more than one way.
I’m not blaming the Bruins for Donato’s lack of scoring.
I’m just saying that they need to do a little more than send the guy to the AHL. He certainly needs a stint in the minors to help rebuild his confidence. However, they also need to get him some scoring help when he returns. Goal scorers can score quite a few goals on their own, but they also need a guy that can set them up for a few. When Donato returns, his confidence should be up and his game will be better. He’ll just need to be playing alongside a guy that can give him a little bit of help, too.
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Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)