Matt Donovan Earns His Chance With Isles

The New York Islanders have called up Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan from the AHL. The rookie blue liner is second on the team in scoring with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) and is fourth in the AHL for scoring by a defenseman. 

I spoke with Donovan at the end of February and could tell that he was itching for his chance to make it with the Islanders, especially after seeing Sound Tigers teammates Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness, Dylan Reese and Ty Wishart getting called up during the season. Although you cannot read a person's tone when looking at a typed up interview,  I can assure my reader's that Donovan, although proud of his friends and teammates, sounded a bit envious of their call-ups to the NHL. (svictoria29/Flickr)

After all, it is every player's dream to finally play in the greatest hockey league in the world. 

Here is the Islanders official press-release:

UNIONDALE, NY (April 2, 2012) – The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Matt Donovan has been recalled from loan from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Donovan, 21, leads all Sound Tigers defensemen in scoring and ranks second overall on the team with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists). The Edmond, OK, native has more points than all but three defensemen in the AHL.


The Islanders selected Donovan in the fourth round, 96th overall, of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Last season, in his final campaign at the University of Denver (Western Collegiate Hockey Association), Donovan led all Pioneers defensemen with 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 42 games as a sophomore. He was named to the All-WCHA Second Team, the Inside College Hockey All-America Third Team and the All-U.S. College Hockey Online Third Team.


On the international stage, Donovan helped Team USA win a Gold Medal at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He also earned all-tournament honors and won a gold medal with the U.S. team at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in Camrose, Alberta, and skated with the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that finished fifth in the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic.

Assume to see Donovan make his NHL debut tomorrow night vs. the New Jersey Devils. You probably can get used to seeing him in an Islanders sweater as well. The early bets are in favor of Donovan making next year's cut in training camp.

-Rob McGowan
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Mike Flannery's picture

Great news for Matt, timing could have been better as his mom and dad were in Bport for the weekend and were probably at the airport (or air born) when Matt got the news. BTW 4th in scoring for a d'man is correct, but he is #1 for rookie d-men. I agree that he has every chance to make it out of camp, all of the skills that A-Mac has and bit more 'snipe' in his shot. He will be missed Wednesday when Tigers play again, doubly so as Steve Oleksy will miss the game having surgery on his nose. Down a couple blueliners will hurt but this years team is solid.