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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — the Bruins lost patience with a young, talented scorer. And Boston’s loss could be Minnesota’s gain.
Ryan Donato was an up-and-down player after joining the Bruins last year, fresh from Harvard University. Donato posted a snappy 5-4-9 line in his first 12 NHL games, but was a forgotten man in the playoffs, dressing just three times. The Bruins gave Donato erratic playing time this year — 34 games in all — and he couldn’t get any traction (six goals, three assists). He also spent 18 games at AHL Providence.
Want to develop your young talent? Stop yanking those prospects in and out of the lineup.
Donato shipped to Minnesota a week ago, in exchange for veteran forward Charlie Coyle. And the Wild are doing what the Bruins wouldn’t with Donato — they’ve giving him dedicated ice time and leaving the 22-year-old alone.
Donato has a goal and five assists since joining the Wild, with points in all four games. He’s getting important ice time — his goal was an overtime winner, and he’s seeing work with the first power-play unit. Donato had two primary assists in Tuesday’s win over Winnipeg.
Hardcore Yahoo fantasy owners have taken note — Donato has chased up to 15 percent owned, with heavy buying over the last week. But there’s still ample space on the bandwagon. Donato shoots the puck (11 shots in four Minnesota games) and qualifies at all three offensive positions. With job security taken care of, time to enjoy the ride.