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.