|6’2”||180||4-5-2004||D||L||6th – 2020||B – Nov||CANADA|
|2018-19||Under-15||Upper Canada Cyclones||29||9||12||21|
|2020-21||CCHL||Carlton Place Canadians||0||0||0||0|
When you search the independent scouting services available, you will find Hamilton Bulldogs defenceman Jorian Donovan ranked anywhere from a late first round pick to the middle of the second round in their 2022 NHL Entry Draft rankings. NHL Central Scouting has him as a B-prospect in their November Players to Watch List – typically meaning a second or third round pick.
Donovan won’t be the top defenceman selected from the OHL at the draft. But the sixth overall pick at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection is certainly going to draw a lot of attention to be the first one chosen “in the next group”.
Donovan is the son of former NHL’er Shean Donovan, who spent 15 seasons in the NHL and played 951 career games.
Donovan is a very good skater with some explosiveness and speed in his strides. Offensively, he uses those abilities to create space, quarterback the powerplay and create lanes. Defensively, he uses the abilities to get back and defend.
Donovan is very patient and understands that his first priority is to defend his own zone. He recognizes when his opportunities arise to jump up into the play and how to be the late man coming in the attack. He retrieves pucks in his own zone quickly and is even quicker to transition to offense with a good first pass or to skate it on his own- something he is more than capable of doing.
Donovan is an excellent puck handler and once he reaches top speed is difficult to contain and separate the puck and is excellent at using his body to protect the puck. While he can create space for himself, he has the vision, hockey sense and passing abilities to recognize where the next play is and usually makes the right decision. He has an excellent shot from the point that almost always finds the target and he shoots with a purpose – not always trying to beat the goaltender.
Defensively, his skating helps him with keeping gaps tight and forcing players to the outside. However, there are times you question whether he has made the right decision. That’s not a knock-on Donovan, because you can say that about any defenceman at this level. When you possess the hockey sense and the skating Donovan does, I believe everything else is coachable.
Donovan projects to be a solid two-way, second pairing defenceman at the next level if he reaches his potential.