Sean Donaldson of Nanaimo in ‘Clip’ Scorer to First Place in BCHL

The twenty-year-old forward from Cornell University, a product of the Burnaby Winter Club, is also tied for second in the BC Hockey League in points.

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Sean Donaldson has amassed a lot in his four seasons in the BC Hockey League.

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The 20-year-old striker from Vancouver has been traded twice. He was part of a league champion team with the Prince George Spruce Kings. He changed his college commitment, moving from the University of Connecticut (UConn) to Cornell.

And this year he is in the running for the league scoring title. He has scored 25 times in 26 games with the Nanaimo Clippers, tying him for first in goals in the 18-team cycle with Salmon Arm Silverbacks right winger Simon Tassy, ​​who has played 28 games so far.

Donaldson is also tied for second in the league in points, with him and Penticton Vees winger Luc Wilson sitting on 40. Tassy leads with 49. .

The Clippers (18-10-0-0) are in a four-team deadlock atop the Coastal Division standings, with percentage points separating the Langley Rivermen (17-7-1-2), Chilliwack Chiefs (16-8-0-0) and Alberni Valley Bulldogs (17-9-3-0).

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The league could end up deciding the regular season standings on winning percentage if all teams are unable to complete their 54-game schedules due to cancellations caused by COVID-19 issues.

“He has breakaway speed and he has a high-level shot.” Darren Naylor, who is the general manager and coach of the Clippers said of Donaldson. “He can really shoot it cool.

“And his work ethic is through the roof. He is working all the time, he wants to improve all the time. He is always asking questions about how he can improve.”

Donaldson added: “I don’t have a numbers goal for myself for this season. I like to score goals. I want at least one every game. I want to do everything possible to help our team win.”

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Donaldson is a Burnaby Winter Club product . His teammates there included Kent Johnson, the Port Moody native currently at the University of Michigan, who was the No. 5 overall pick in last summer’s NHL Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets and was a member of the Canada in the junior world during the holidays.

Johnson and Donaldson both played BCHL call-up games with the Trail Smoke Eaters in 2017-18. Both began the following season as regulars with Trail, but Donaldson was traded that October to the Spruce Kings. He helped Prince George capture the league title that spring and was traded that summer to the Clippers.

Donaldson showed glimpses of what was possible this campaign when he scored 10 goals and 20 points in 16 games for Nanaimo last season in extended BCHL training camp. When the regular season here was delayed by COVID-19 issues, Donaldson was among several BCHLers to jump to the US Hockey League, which kept the competition in play. He opted for the Sioux Falls Stampede, but did not get a career in an offensive role there, evidenced by his goal and five points in 24 games.

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He got into a game this season with Sioux Falls before opting to return to Nanaimo. He praised his time in the USHL, saying he learned a lot there, but liked the idea of ​​having the opportunity to be a “reference guy” with Nanaimo and the mix with the Clippers.

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“We have a very united group. We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of guys that bring it in every night,” Donaldson said.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Donaldson had initially committed to UConn in April 2018, prior to that rookie season in the BCHL with Trail and Prince George. He parted ways with UConn last October. He did not want to go into the exact details of why, only explaining that “it was time for a new beginning.”

He says he talked to 25 programs after that, and Cornell was one of the first he came in contact with. He announced that he had become engaged to the Ithaca, New York-based Ivy League team in early December on his social media.

“You’re getting an Ivy League education with a hockey program that competes for a national championship every year,” Donaldson said of Cornell, which was ranked No. 10 in this week’s USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll. “The culture there is amazing. The tradition is amazing.”

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