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Ryan Donato Post-Draft Media Availability

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

On his emotions after being drafted by Boston…


Really excited. No words to explain it right now.

On whether his emotions after being selected by the Bruins are hard to describe…
Well yeah. I’ve just grown up around the rinks — it would be a dream come true, and when they had the pick, I was shaking in my seat for a minute while they were waiting and I couldn’t be happier with the pick. Proud to be in such a great organization now.

On his memories of father Ted Donato’s time with the Bruins…
Yes — from playing mini hockey in the locker rooms, to being around the players, from having guys stay at our house, just seeing how they are off the ice — it really is just unbelievable to be here now.

On whether he was hoping that he would go to the Bruins…
Well I mean, just to be drafted by such a great organization — I really didn’t care where I was going to end up in the order, but just being drafted by the Bruins really is … I’m still happy and still really excited to get going.

On whether he will attend Harvard or keep playing in the USHL…
Well, I’m not going to Harvard next year [he still has one more year at Dexter]. Yeah, so I haven’t decided yet.

On which USHL team he would play for…
Omaha Lancers.

On what goes into that decision…
Yeah absolutely — I’ll talk to [the Bruins] and see what they think, and now that the draft’s over, I got a weight lifted off my shoulders and I think I can make a clear decision soon.

On his father’s excitement over his son being drafted to the Bruins…
Yeah, I think he was really excited too. I think my mom was almost as excited as my dad — more excited. She was — my name got called, I just knew she was going to bawl, so I had to give her a quick hug and get out of there before she got too embarrassed with the cameras.

On where his father was when he got drafted…
He was swimming in a pool with his buddies when he got the call. Walked out of the pool. He actually preached to me after that — he said it’s almost better to have that because now you know you need to work and need to get ready. And I think that’s what I take from him the most, is this is part of the dream and the dream’s not complete yet. You have to work to get to a certain point.

On his style of play…
I’m a guy that can get the puck, to the net, create opportunities, score. I like to be a team player, like to block shots, I like to play the body and I like to play in all situations.

On whether he has followed the Bruins…
I follow the team religiously — just being in Boston, it’s such a big part of Boston. I couldn’t be happier going to this team — just being around the guys, growing up with all the Bruins players in the house, being friends with all the Bruins players … There really are no words to describe it right now.

On whether he models his game after any current Bruins players…
My favorite player is Patrice Bergeron, hands down. I try to copy some of what he does. He’s the player I try to model my game after.

On whether his father would agree with that…
He’s so well-respected around the players — off the ice, too. I remember when he was younger, his rookie year, it was my dad’s last year in the NHL. He came to the house, he came to the Harvard games, he really is special to me and I try to copy the things he does on and off the ice.

On his plans to play for his father at Harvard…
Me and him have a good relationship, and I think it’s going to be beneficial because he’s not going to be afraid to tear me apart as much as any other guy. So I think it’s going to be good and I think he’ll get me ready the fastest to hopefully play NHL hockey.

On whether his father will be harder on him than on other players…
Yeah well, I have my uncle at Dexter right now, so I kind of got the family feel and I think I liked it a lot, so I might as well not change it. I think we have a good relationship so I think it will be really good.

On why he wants to play college hockey at Harvard…
Not only the education by itself — I haven’t been accepted yet. There’s a process that goes into it, but if I get to go there one day, I think it’ll be a dream come true. Just being around the guys, seeing their work ethic off the ice and seeing how they are on the ice, working hard, getting some hours in on the ice — I know I can best prepare myself to hopefully be a hockey player one day coming out of that school.

On whether he has seen film of his father playing at Harvard...
I’ve seen a couple old tapes of him. We value an education. I haven’t been accepted yet — the process still happens, but if I ever have a chance to go there, then have a chance to play for the Bruins, just as he did — literally the same thing — would be pretty unbelievable.

On what he has to improve…
I think anything I can work on will be worked on. I really don’t have anything — I think my foot speed maybe a little bit, my explosiveness, but I feel that can benefit all aspects of my game a lot more.

On how it feels to wear a Bruins sweater…
Surreal. It really is. It doesn’t feel like it’s happening right now. It feels like a dream.

On his initial meetings with Bruins…
At the beginning, I think they were trying to see how I’d react to getting — not torn apart, but they were pretty hard on me. When I came in there, and at the end he was like, “You can breathe now.” He knew that I was nervous and I realized, oh man, they got me good there. I felt comfortable with them after that. I feel like after that, I had a pretty good chance to go to the Bruins, but there are so many other great organizations, I would have been happy…but now that I’m with the Bruins, I can say this is where I want to be.

On who said, “You can breathe now”…
[Don] Sweeney. [Laughter]

On whether his father was surprised to see him go to the Bruins…
I think so. I think he was nervous just the whole time. I think he was more nervous than I was the whole week, just because the whole process, but I think he was happy.

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