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20 questions with Blackhawks forward Ryan Donato

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Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

In our latest series of 20 questions, I go 1-on-1 with Blackhawks forward Ryan Donato:

1. Favorite NHL team growing up and why?

The Bruins. I watched my dad playing for them and grew up in that area, so pretty easy answer.

2. Favorite NHL player growing up and why?

Brett Hull, because he was a goal scorer and my dad played with him in Dallas when I was a kid. I just liked his game, always watching his highlights.

3. What was your welcome to the NHL moment?

My first game was definitely very cool, but I think for me, the funniest one, I played Dustin Byfuglien early on and I saw him smirking at me at center ice on the faceoff and I was like: 'Oh boy.' First shift he threw me like a medicine ball against the wall twice and you could tell it hurt me a little bit and he started laughing. And then he never touched me again, he was just laughing the whole time. I realized how strong guys could be but if you get on guys' good side it's better off for you.

4. Favorite road city in the NHL

Boston. Just being home.

5. Favorite road arena in the NHL

I'd say Montreal.

6. Favorite all-time teammate and why?

One of my favorite teammates was Brad Hunt. I played with him in Minnesota. Just an awesome guy, funny guy, always so positive.

7. Why do you wear No. 8?

Well, now I'm No. 8, but I always wore No. 16 as a kid because of Brett Hull. No. 8 was just a number that was available that I liked.

8. Favorite activity to unwind from hockey?

Maybe take the dog for a walk, take them to the park.

9. What's your stick flex number?

90 this year. I've used 100 my whole career except I changed it this year. Well, I changed it halfway through last season. It's just something different. I felt like as the year goes on, the wear and tear on your body, you're not as strong as you are when you start the season. 100 flex usually feels pretty good at the beginning but it gets pretty stiff at the end, so I went down to 90 and I'm just getting a lot more whip on the puck and it's definitely been a good thing.

10. What's one thing you have to do on a game day?

I always nap if I can. I give myself two hours but I don't know if I use the whole thing all the time.

11. Best hockey prank you've witnessed

When I was in Boston, me and Charlie McAvoy were running late for the bus in Tampa Bay and I don't know who it was but somebody sewed his pants shut. We were late for the bus already and then they sowed his pants shut and stole his socks, so it was pretty funny.

12. Hardest player you've had to defend and why

Probably Connor McDavid. Pretty straight-forward.

13. Current or former player you'd want as your linemates

Connor McDavid is a pretty easy one. Maybe we'll go with Adam Oates, just somebody that's going to be a playmaker and set up a couple goals.

14. Build your all-time 3-on-3 overtime lineup

That is so hard. I'll go with Connor McDavid obviously, Wayne Gretzky and maybe Ray Bourque.

15. Favorite TV show

Game of Thrones or The Office. Game of Thrones, if I'm in a more serious vibe, it's one of the best shows I think. And then The Office if I just want to put something on for white noise almost.

16. Favorite vacation spot in the summer

Maybe Key West. Do some fishing down there.

17. Favorite sport outside of hockey?


18. What's your golf handicap, and which 3 teammates would you want in a foursome?

I think it's a 6.5 but I don't think I'm at a 6.5 right now. Maybe at a 6.5 at the end of the summer but not now.

Hm, we don't have a lot of golfers on our team. I'll go with Andreas Athanasiou, I think Filip Roos is a good golfer he said, and then maybe Tyler Johnson.

19. Favorite non-hockey athlete ever?

Tom Brady.

20. If you weren't a hockey player, what would you be?

God knows. I have no clue. I honestly have no clue.

Any idea what you want to do post-playing career? 

No. I'm trying not to because it's a scary thought. I don't know. It's a good question. A lot of options.

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