Ryan Donato Hobey Baker Award Candidate

Young Ryan Donato (far left) at Harvard Stadium with brothers Jack, Nolan, sister Madelyn, and parents Ted and Jeannine.
Jack Donato '21 (left) and Ryan Donato '19 (right) with father Ted Donato '91

After an NHL career that spanned 13 seasons and 796 games, Ted Donato '91 was hired at his alma mater - Harvard University - in 2004. He has guided the Crimson to five NCAA Tournament appearances, three ECAC Hockey tournament titles, one ECAC Hockey regular season title, and the program's first Frozen Four appearance in 23 years in 2016-17.

The George Percy Award winner as Harvard's top freshman in 2015-16, Ryan Donato continued his progression as one of the nation's top players as a sophomore in 2016-17. Last season, Donato recorded 40 points (21 goals, 19 assists) in 36 games, helping the Crimson reach the Frozen Four for the first time since 1994. The Ivy League Player of the Year, and a First Team ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy selection a year ago, Donato's 2016-17 campaign was a sign of things to come.

To say that it's been a great year for Ryan Donato would be an understatement.

It started with a career high 14-game point streak (14 goals, eight assists) to open the season. Donato was the first player in Division 1 college hockey to reach 20 goals this year, taking just 19 games to do it.

Ryan Donato was officially named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey team at the Winter Classic
Ryan Donato led Team USA with five goals at the Winter Olympics.

Ryan's banner year continued when he was officially named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey team on Jan. 1. In Feburary, Donato made waves in Pyeongchang, and became a household name in the United States, leading the team with six points (five goals, assist) before returning to complete the 2017-18 season with Harvard.

Donato finished 2017-18 with a career best 43 points (26 goals, 17 assists) in 29 games played. The accolades were plentiful:

  • ECAC Hockey Player of the Year
  • All-ECAC Hockey First Team
  • All-Ivy First Team
  • Led nation in goal scoring (average) - .90 goals per game.
  • Walter Brown Award Finalist
  • HCA National Player of the Month (December)
  • ECAC Hockey Player of the Month (December)
Ryan Donato in his first NHL game on March 19, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

To top it all off, Donato, a 2014 NHL Draft pick of the Boston Bruins, signed with his hometown team on March 18, and made his NHL debut on March 19. He scored his first NHL goal as part of a three point night (goal, two assists) - all while continuing his studies at Harvard and maintaining his residence in Winthrop House.

Vote Ryan Donato for the 2018 Hobey Baker Award.
Ryan has been involved in several team community service initiatives during his time at Harvard, including volunteer work at the Cristo Rey Boston school in Dorchester, where the team spends a day cleaning up and preparing the school for the academic year. He has also attended the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk helping the team's annual effort to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

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