Knights defenseman Donovan makes NCAA DI commitment
April 12, 2019
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce that captain and Top Prospects defenseman Shay Donovan has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of Wisconsin in the B1G.
After three years and nearly 150 games of regular season junior hockey under his belt, Donovan is set to join the Badgers later this fall.
“When I stepped on campus and saw the facilities and met the coaches and really got to feel the presence of Badger nation and the atmosphere all over town, it became a no brainer that it was a place that I’ll love every single day and a place that I’ve always dreamt about going to as a student, so to get to experience it all as a hockey player with my brother will be really special,” said Donovan.
Donovan, 20, came to the Knights during the 2017-18 season after starting the year with the Minnesota Wilderness. He played 50 games for the Coulee Region Chill in his rookie season in the NAHL a year earlier.
“Shay was a big help on our backend last season and helped get us to the Robertson Cup,” said NAHL Head Coach and General Manager Tom Kowal. “His teammates voted and named him captain of the Knights this past year and I think that tells you not only about Shay’s abilities as a player, but also his leadership in the dressing room and the respect he’s gained from this team. The University of Wisconsin is getting a tremendous player both on and off the ice.”
Donovan (6’3/195) put up nine goals and 40 points across his NAHL career. He finished his swan song season with two goals and 16 points. Earlier in the year, Donovan was selected to play for Team East at the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.
“Shay has earned this terrific opportunity to be a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin with a combination of hard work and perseverance,” said NAHL Assistant Coach Andrew Whiteside. “Ever since Shay has stepped foot in Wilkes-Barre, he has developed into not only a more complete defensemen, but a leader on and off the ice for our younger players to look up to. On behalf of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, we would like to wish Shay the best of luck in Madison, Wisconsin!”
“When I started my junior career, my goal was to get an opportunity at the next level and through three years of hard work and sticking with it, I was able to do that. Going through some adversity with some untimely injuries and playing for multiple teams was tough, but I was able to overcome it by always believing that there was a chance it would pay off. The opportunity I got in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as a captain and being the older guy really prepared me for the role of being a leader and role model to younger guys at the next level. The role that I’ll be stepping into at University of Wisconsin will be a challenge everyday, but I am prepared to take it on using what I’ve learned in my three years in junior. I Can’t wait!”
The UOW Badgers are members of the B1G conference. The team finished 9-10-5-2 this past season. Joining Shay for his freshman year will be younger brother and fellow first year student, Ryder Donovan.