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Matt Donovan inks entry level contract

D-man to report to Bridgeport

Wednesday, 03.30.2011 / 4:19 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Matt Donovan inks entry level contract
On Wednesday morning, the New York Islanders signed yet another one of their 2008 draft selections to an entry-level contract. Matt Donovan, who spent the last two seasons defending the blue-line at the University of Denver, inked his deal.

“I’m very, very excited,” Donovan said when reached by phone. “I hope that I can play the same game that I’ve played my whole life, continue to play solid defensively and hopefully contribute offensively as well.”

While his entry-level deal will not kick in until the 2011-12 season, Donovan will report to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers immediately, where he will play the remainder of the 2010-11 season with the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate on an Amateur Tryout Contract.

Matt Donovan skates in a game for the University of Denver. (Rich Clarkson, Associates/NCAA Photos)
“Starting now will just help me get my feet wet in my professional hockey career,” Donovan said. “It will help me figure out where I am and where need to be (talent and endurance wise), which will really help me figure out how hard I need to work this summer to make it to the Island.”

In his sophomore season, Donovan surpassed all other Pioneers defensemen in scoring, posting a career-best 32 points (9 goals, 23 assists), bypassing his 7 goal, 14 assist freshman season by 11 points.

“My defensive game has gotten a lot stronger over the last couple of years,” the Edmond, Oklahoma native said. “I’m a defenseman, but more specifically and offensive defenseman.”

Donovan continued, “I like to contribute offensively and my defensive skills weren’t always there or I wasn’t playing well defensively, but I think the past couple years, specifically this past year, I’ve developed a lot better defensively.”

The 20-year-old said he owes a lot of that improvement to his coaches at Denver.

“It was unbelievable,” Donovan said. “The coaches are awesome, all the guys are awesome. I had a great two years there. I think the coaches and the staff all helped me develop a lot and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Now that his collegiate career is over, defenseman has started to look towards his future. He knows his transition to the Arena at Harbor Yard will be seamless, especially since he’s friends with Rhett Rakhshani, who has been selected to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team, and Aaron Ness, who signed his entry-level contract with the Islanders franchise last week.

While Donovan’s excited to get started, he knows this is just the beginning for him.

“Hopefully I’m playing in the NHL soon,” Donovan said. “That’s my main goal. That’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing and hopefully that’s where I’m headed.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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