D-Town to D-1: The Story of Two Brothers’ Hockey Journey

By Ryan Turell

My project takes a look at the story of two brothers on the Wisconsin Hockey team—Ryder and Shay Donovan. The Donovan brothers grew up in Duluth, Minnesota and even though they have had different journeys in their playing careers, they both ended up getting offers to play at UW. Ryder is three years younger than Shay and was a fourth round NHL draft pick on the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019. This documentary takes a look at their relationship together, the extra time they’ve gotten to spend together because of the pandemic and the different challenges of this season. You get an inside scoop on the life of collegiate athletes through the pandemic and a look at the relationship between two brothers.

Character Highlight

Shay Donovan

Shay Donovan came to Wisconsin in 2019 as a 21-year-old freshman, as part of a loaded freshman class that featured 3 first-round NHL draft picks and 5 NHL draft picks in total. Shay, is the older brother of Ryder Donovan, and they both play on the Wisconsin Badgers Hockey Team together.

Shay is originally from Duluth, Minnesota where him and Ryder grew up playing hockey on their backyard rink. After high school, Shay played junior hockey in the North American Hockey League for three seasons before eventually getting a Division 1 offer from Wisconsin to join his brother in Madison.

In Madison, Shay lives with his brother and three other sophomores on the team. When they are not at the rink you can typically find them in their apartment in the James, Dollar General, Chipotle and soon enough the Kollege Klub.

Shay and Ryder have relished the opportunity to play together at Wisconsin and are looking forward to their next two seasons together.

Extra Soundbite

Meet the Filmmaker

My name is Ryan Turell. I am a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in journalism, double-tracking in reporting and strategic communications. I am from New York, although I am starting to like the Midwest more than out east!

I am a huge sports fan and I hope to one day be the play-by-play voice of the New York Mets and New York Islanders. I love country music and hanging out with friends, and you can generally find me by the lake on campus. My favorite thing in the world is to look at a pretty orange sunset over a lake. I hope you enjoy the film!