26-Year-Old Defenseman – Buffalo Sabres
Matt Donovan Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $825,000 contract with the Sabres in July 2015.
Donovan cleared waivers on Wednesday, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Donovan finally cracked the Isles lineup last season and performed admirably but with two goals and 16 points in 52 games he is unlikely to see anything more than bottom-pair minutes. The Islanders are a work in progress when it comes to defense but Donovan will still need to prove himself in training camp to ensure his spot with the team.
Donovan is the closest of the Islanders' defensive prospects to being ready to make the team. That being said, with all of the signings, the Islanders might have room to carry one or two prospects. If the Islanders feel he won't get the necessary minutes to continue to improve at the NHL level, they may feel it is best for his future that he continue in the AHL, even though he doesn't really have anything to prove at Bridgeport.
Donovan could be ready to play with the Isles full-time if he has a strong training camp. He has the size and vision to play at the NHL level, and certainly possesses an offensive upsdie, posting 45 points in 72 games with Bridgeport in the AHL last year. With Donovan, it's just a question of whehter or not he needs more seasoning. Donovan eventually will be a top four defenseman for the Islanders.
Donovan has a future with the Islanders as a puck-moving defenseman. He will begin his first full season in the AHL this October and could find himself in the mix for a spot on the blue line as early as the second half of this season, or October of 2012.