A 1996 birthdate, the 6-foot, 174-pound Scituate native was the highest ranked prep school player in New England in the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Report released earlier this month. Donato ranked 54th among North American skaters.
Last year, Donato posted 29-31-60 totals in 28 games played at Dexter.
"He expects himself to do great things every time he's on the ice, that's the sign of a great player," said Dexter head coach Dan Donato, Ryan's uncle. "I've been really fortunate to have coached three players that have gone on to the NHL, but in some ways, Ryan's on another planet. I truly believe his best hockey is ahead of him."
Donato also fielded offers from Boston College and Boston University, before choosing the Crimson -- both his father's alma mater and where he's coached for the last 10 seasons.
"I think with his father being there, it ended up being a nice possibility for him," Dan Donato said. "I'm so happy for him. [Harvard] is the ultimate pinnacle of where high school hockey players look to go, especially in the Boston area. I'm not knocking any other schools, they're terrific schools, but this was a special opportunity for him."