Foxboro Pro League Feature: Ryan Donato

Foxboro, MA: Photo credit shared with Angeline Marcks.

Originally went to the Foxboro Pro League to practice sports photography and catch up with Jeremy Swayman. The University of Maine goaltender took the day off but to my pleasant surprise, Ryan Donato was playing in the late game. Spent the majority of my time shivering at ice level but I would be a terrible person not to thank all the coaches that let me behind the benches with them and the players that chatted me up and let me stumble around them.

This was an excellent experience to practice photography. These are a handful of the best pictures taken out of 100+ and even at that, they show the limitations of the lenses used. For reference, these were taken with a 55-200mm f4-5.6 lens with 800-3200 ISO. While Foxboro is pretty well lit, it shows that a 2.8 lens will be needed sometime in the distant future. For now, I’m quite happy to learn on this lens, and will probably employ some post-production to clean up the lens noise or grain of the image.

For those who aren’t totally familiar with Ryan Donato: he will make a serious push for 3C role, or perhaps a top-9 wing if he continues to put on weight. While taking a picture with him in the lobby, I noticed it’s evident Bruins brass is pushing him to put on bulk. This Ryan Donato is not the same, wiry collegiate we saw back at season’s end.

Ryan Donato’s skills were in a class above the competition he faced. Most of his opponents were AHL or NCAA caliber and Donato was carving his way through them with both precision and brute force. He had a respectable 47% of faceoffs (estimated) and torched the opponent’s AHL Bakersfield Condors goalie several times. While his game is not perfect, watching his game at ice level, even through a camera lens, it is not hard to imagine Ryan Donato possesses top-6 talent, excellent hockey IQ, and on-ice vision comparable to the most successful NFL quarterbacks.

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