In case you missed it, Boston Bruins forward David Backes left Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after suffering a knee laceration courtesy of Lightning forward Yanni Gourde.
Here is the play in question:
Clearly this is an accidental play on Gourde’s part and it all indications are that Backes will make a full recovery. Still… scary stuff.
Well today, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney offered an update on Backes’ health saying, “I don’t have a definitive timetable. Certainly not day-to-day. I would suspect he’ll be out for a couple games.”
Ouch. Tough luck for the banged up Bruins. The team is already missing Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk… this just compounds things.
Bruins sign NCAA star and US Olympian Donato
In more positive news, the Boston Bruins announced yesterday that they have officially signed 21 year old NCAA superstar and US Olympian Ryan Donato to a two-year, entry level contract.
Ryan, son of Bruins great Ted Donato, is a Boston native who was raised and played his high school hockey at Dexter School in Brookline, MA. He’s a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top collegiate players in the entire NCAA after finishing an oustanding season with Harvard in which he put up 26 goals and 43 points in 29 games.
Donato also represented Team USA at last month’s 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 21-year old tied for the tournament leading scoring with five goals in five games.
From the Bruins’ official press release:
BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, March 18, that the team has signed Harvard forward Ryan Donato to a two-year entry-level contract. Donato will join the Boston Bruins and will be eligible to play in tomorrow night's game vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden.
Donato represented Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he appeared in all five of the team's games before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Czech Republic. The 21-year-old forward tied for the most goals in the Olympics with five tallies in five games, and his six points were the most by an American player. It was the second time Donato represented his country on the international stage, after posting three goals and one assists in seven games as Team USA earned a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in 2015-16.
Donato led Harvard in scoring as a junior in 2017-18, recording 26 goals (4th in NCAA) and 17 assists for 43 points with a plus-15 rating in 29 games. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward was named the NCAA Ivy League Player of the Year in 2016-17 after leading Harvard to an ECAC Championship and a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four with 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points with a plus-19 rating in 36 games. As a freshman for the Crimson in 2015-16, Donato tallied 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points with a plus-four rating in 32 appearances. In his final season with Harvard, Donato was selected as one of ten Hobey Baker finalists, which is awarded annually to the best collegiate hockey player.
Prior to attending Harvard, Donato played four seasons of high school hockey at Dexter School in Brookline, MA, where he amassed 98 goals and 129 assists for 227 points in 115 career games.
The Boston, Massachusetts native was originally selected by the Bruins in the second round (56th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
It’s expected that Donato will join the Bruins squad today and will likely take the ice for his NHL debut as his new squad takes on the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden.
Welcome to the NHL, Ryan!