Harvard top scorer Donato tabbed ’17-18 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year

The Harvard University Crimson defeated the St. Lawrence University Saints 6-3 (EN) to clinch the ECAC playoffs first seed and a share in the regular season championship on senior night, Saturday, February 25, 2017, at Bright-Landry Hockey Center in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
Harvard’s Ryan Donato leads the Crimson with 26 goals and 41 points heading to the ECAC Hockey semifinals this weekend (photo: Melissa Wade).

ECAC Hockey announced Thursday that Harvard junior forward Ryan Donato has been named the 2017-18 Player of the Year, as selected by the league’s coaches.

Donato is in the midst of his best season at Harvard, leading the team with 41 points (26 goals, 15 assists) in 28 games. The 41-point total is a new single-season high for the Scituate, Mass., native.

He was fifth in conference scoring averaging 1.26 points per contest with 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists in in 19 games, while leading the league with 126 shots.

Donato had a career-high 14-game point streak (14 goals, eight assists) to open the season, and was the first player in college hockey to reach 20 goals this year, taking just 19 games to do it. He was named the HCA National Player of the Month for December and was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month.

Harvard is 10-3-2 this season in games which Donato scored a goal.

He was selected the league’s Player of the Week on two occasions – Jan. 2 and March 13.

The Boston Bruins draftee recently recorded his 100th career point, becoming the 32nd player in program history to reach that milestone.

Donato played for the U.S. men’s team at the 2018 Winter Olympics, leading the team with six points (five goals, assist) before returning to complete the season at Harvard. He was a First-Team All-ECAC Hockey selection the last two seasons.

This season, he has helped the Crimson advance to Lake Placid, the site of ECAC Hockey championship weekend, for the fourth consecutive year.

Other finalists for the league’s top player were goaltenders Matthew Galajda of Cornell and Colton Point from Colgate.