Ryan Donato — perhaps sooner than expected — has arrived.
The Boston Bruins signed the star prospect to a two-year entry-level contract Sunday. And Donato, who recently wrapped up his memorable career at Harvard, will play Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden.
Shortly after news broke of the deal, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney spoke about the decision to immediately put Donato on the varsity club, as well as what the team sees in the talented winger.
Get hype, Bruins fans.
Before the team’s morning skate Monday, Donato took time to chat with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
And here’s a shot of him practicing at the Bruins’ training facility:
Donato’s NHL debut also will represent an Olympic reunion.
The 21-year-old will skate on the same line as Brian Gionta, one of his Team USA teammates during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Donato scored a team-high five goals during the United States’ Olympic run.
Donato’s NHL debut was made possible, in part, by the Bruins’ recent quarrel with the injury bug. Sweeney, however, offered encouraging updates Sunday on three injured Bruins — including Patrice Bergeron, who took part in morning skate Monday.