In 11 games this season, Donato has one goal and has had trouble at both ends of the ice.
With center David Backes close to returning from a concussion, Donato was likely to get less time on the ice. In Providence, he'll get more playing time and the opportunity to work on timing and confidence.
A Hobey Baker finalist last season, Donato scored five goals and nine points in 12 games for the Bruins after being called up in March.
He was a standout at Harvard, where he played for his father, former Bruin Ted Donato. He led Harvard in scoring with 26 goals (fourth in the NCAA) and 17 assists last season and also led Team USA with five goals and six points at the Pyeongchang Games.