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Jorian Donovan

Belleville Sens debut a source of pride for Donovan

April 20, 2023

While every American Hockey League debut is a source of pride, for Jorian Donovan, his introduction to professional hockey with the Belleville Senators was uniquely special because of his links to the organization.

Jorian is very much aware of the legacy his family has with the franchise. His father, Shean, is a current development coach and a former forward with the Ottawa Senators.

“Growing up living in Ottawa and always watching the Senators and seeing my dad play for them. It’s a dream come true. You don’t really realize that in the moment, but it slowly sets in, and it’s a pretty special place to be.”

The left-shot defenceman still has an entire year of eligibility remaining in the Ontario Hockey League before he can join the AHL Senators permanently. In spite of that fact, Donovan was still able to gain valuable experience as a late-season addition to the roster following the conclusion of another successful campaign with the Hamilton Bulldogs, in which he registered 12 goals, and 33 assists over 55 games. During last season, Jorian helped the franchise earn a J. Ross Robertson Cup title and Memorial Cup final appearance.

“I thought it was awesome. The biggest takeaway for me right now is it was a learning experience. It’s cool to come up from junior, play my first two games, and see how everyone prepares. It’s professional hockey, so it’s a whole different level. Everyone is faster and stronger, so it was a good experience for a younger guy like me to watch everyone and really feel the pace and play of the AHL.”

“I really think the biggest thing is the structure. You come from the OHL, where it’s very well-coached, but here it’s taking that to the next level. Every little detail is accounted for, which was the biggest thing.”

Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Donovan has continued to impress executives and coaches with his strong play and his ability to adapt. Everyone that has worked with the 19-year-old is also quick to comment on his pleasant demeanour and contagious smile.

“We’re absolutely thrilled for Jorian to get this opportunity,” Belleville Senators General Manager Ryan Bowness said. He had a really strong season in Hamilton this year. He’s a great kid. He’s a good prospect for us, so we’re anxious to see how he can take a step here at the end of the season.”

Donovan has demonstrated maturity beyond his years in his stint with the organization. This latest experience will serve him well as he continues to progress on his journey.