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Sports & Recreation

Richmond hockey prospect excited to take his game to the next level

By Jeff Morris,
Manotick Messenger

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]Jorian Donovan has taken a big first step forward in his dream to play professional hockey.

The 15-year-old Richmond hockey player was selected by the Kanata Lasers in the Central Canada Hockey League Draft earlier this year. He is also considered by minor hockey scouts to be one of the top three defensemen from Ottawa available in next year’s Ontario Hockey League Draft.

Jorian Donovan, right, poses at the CCHL Draft with his father, former NHL player Shean Donovan. Jorian, a 15-year-old from Richmond, will be coached by his father with the Kanata Lasers U18 Midget AAA team next year.
Mike Carroccetto photo

If it seems like deja-vu, it’s probably because Jorian’s father, former Ottawa Senator and longtime NHL player Shean Donovan, began his CCHL career with the Kanata Lasers as a 15-year-old before joining the Ottawa 67s the following year.

Jorian Donovan spent the 2018-19 season playing for the Upper Canada Cyclones of the Ontario East Major Bantam Hockey League. The smooth skating defender finished the season with 21 points in 29 games, scoring nine goals and assisting on 12. He joined the Lasers Midget AAA team for three games at the end of the season, earning a pair of assists.

He is expected to play for the Lasers’ Midget AAA team next season, where Shean will be the coach.

“I’m super pumped; it’s awesome,” said Jorian Donovan about being drafted by the Lasers. “I played a couple games for them at the end of the season and it was a great experience. I’m also so excited because my father is going to be my coach.”

Donovan added that he and his teammates had a good year – better than the previous one – with the Cyclones and that he was able to grow as a player.

“We had great coaching this year, and for me personally, I thought my game improved,” he said. “The year started well, but then I had a little bit of a slump and I was able to pull it back together.”

After going pointless for five games, Donovan scored three goals in the final three games of the season for the Cyclones.

While Shean was a forward, Jorian has always been a defenseman.

“I always preferred to play D,” he said. “I like to see the full ice and be able to play offense and defense at the same time.”

As a boy growing up and going to many Ottawa Senators games at Canadian Tire Centre, it is no surprise that Jorian tries to pattern his game after that of former Sens star Erik Karlsson.

“One of my biggest idols was Erik Karlsson,” he said. “I love watching hm play.”

One of the next big decisions Donovan will be facing as his hockey career moves forward will be whether or not to play junior hockey in Ontario or college hockey in the United States.

“I would love to play in the OHL but it will depend when I’m drafted,” he said. “School would be a good option too.”

Next year, Jorian will be playing with older players in the Midget AAA league, but he has set some lofty goals for himself. He will be focusing on carrying and moving the puck and becoming an offensive threat from the back end.

“My goal is to get 40 points,” he said. “It’s a tough goal but I think it’s possible.”