The Chicago Blackhawks made a splash on the free agent market by signing center Ryan Donato to a two-year deal with $4M. The cap hit will be $2M.
Hey Ryan! 😎 pic.twitter.com/q5a5hDHHso
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 1, 2023
Last season with Seattle, Donato had 27 points (14-13) in 71 games. He notched 30 total goals in his two seasons with the Kraken.
A Versatile Forward
Able to play the wing or down the middle, Donato brings top nine potential to a team that is filling out its last few spots on the potential roster. Drafted by Boston in the second round, Donato spent two seasons with the Bruins before being dealt to the Wild for Charlie Coyle. The Wild then flipped him to San Jose a year later. The Sharks didn’t qualify him and Seattle signed him in September 2021.
In Seattle, Donato came into his own, seeing a career year in 2021-22 before a small dip in points last season. Donato has a nose for the net, and his double-digit goal production with 16 and 14 goals respectively. Now filling out a team with other acquired veterans like Nick Foligno, Corey Perry, and Taylor Hall, Chicago’s top nine forwards will have an upgrade of skill from last year.
Of the veterans signed, Donato is the youngest, which may give him a shot at extending his deal down the road should he take advantage of the moment.
Donato Another Piece of the Puzzle
The Blackhawks are the fifth team in Donato’s six year career. and this provides a chance for stability on a team that’s on the rise. The start of his career saw a nine-point heater after playing his first 12 games. But the heat didn’t remain ignited, and Seattle saw the two best years of his career statistically.
Now he comes to Chicago trying to build on that and carve out a spot on a team that will have a generational player in the making.