“Scoring is something I've always taken pride in,” Donovan said. “It's having a right mind for the game, knowing when to jump up in the play five-on-five or handling the puck on the power play. I feel I see the ice well that creates scoring chances for myself and my teammates.”
So how did his father, a Boston kid, end up in Oklahoma?
After meeting some “country boys” from McAlester and Broken Bow in an exchange program at his high school in the Boston area, Larry Donovan decided to give Oklahoma a look-see. He liked it.
In 1981, Larry enrolled at East Central, where he met his wife, Kathryn. The Donovans moved to Edmond. Twenty-three years ago they had a son who is now on an NHL roster.
“He always tells people he's from Oklahoma,” Larry said. “He's very proud about being the first.”
The OKC junior hockey program had around 100 kids, ages five through high school, when Donovan was growing up. It's increased to between 400 and 500 kids but still has much room to grow.
Every summer Donovan holds a camp for kids. Does he feel hockey can make a major leap in Oklahoma City similar to Dallas, where youth hockey has exploded the past two decades?
“I would like to think so,” Donovan said. “I'm hoping that's something I'm helping with. I hope when kids and parents read my story they realize there are other sports they can make it. I want kids from Oklahoma to set their goals high where someday we have more Oklahoma kids make it to the NHL.”
Hockey fans are always are surprised when they hear Donovan's background.
“I still get it to this day. When someone asks where I'm from, I tell them Oklahoma,” Donovan said. “They say, ‘What? I didn't even know they played hockey in Oklahoma.' It's been that way my whole life. I've tried to prove people wrong that a kid from Oklahoma could make it to the NHL.”
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