Apr 3, 2012, 1:56 PM EST
Defenseman Matt Donovan will become the first true Oklahoma product to play in the NHL when he suits up for the Islanders tonight in New Jersey.
Donovan, 21, was born in Edmond, OK. His father Larry, a Boston native who runs ice rinks in The Sooner State, got his son into hockey.
The Islanders drafted Donovan 96th overall in 2008. He won a gold medal with the United States at the 2010 World Juniors in Saskatchewan. So far this season he’s put up 42 points with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.
“It really hasn’t hit me that tonight is the night that I’m going to be playing my first NHL game, but I’m excited and ready to play,” Donovan told NHL.com.
According to hockeyreference.com, only three other NHLers have been born in Oklahoma – Tyler Arnason, Dan Woodley, and Burr Williams, the latter of whom played in the 1930s.
However, Arnason grew up in Winnipeg and Woodley was only born in OK because his dad, Dave, played for the Oklahoma City Blazers at the time.
Not sure what Williams’ story was, but with a name like Burr, we bet it was colorful.
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 48
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 7
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 35
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Canadiens seek edge as divisional battles intensify 2
- Struggling Kings complete the comeback against Blackhawks 12