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Edit: Drafted 30th Overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Ryan Hartman is an Illinois native who came up through the United States National Team Development program, and is now playing for the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL.
He has had a ton of success and experience at the international level winning a silver medal at the 2011 Under 17 World Challenge, a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, and topping it off with a gold at the 2013 World Juniors in Sochi, Russia.
In Sochi, Hartman was a key member of a strong third line for Team USA’s World Junior squad, and was used primarily in a defensive role. He played as a Right Wing, against top lines, and was an effective checker and energy line player. However, Hartman has shown great versatility this season, and has been deployed at Centre for Plymouth on a number of occasions. With 23 goals and 60 points in 56 games for the Whalers he’s shown that he can be more than just an energy line player, and that he has the ability to play an offensive role as well.
Born Sep 20 1994 — West Dundee, IL
Height 5.11 — Weight 185
Listed at 5’11” and 185 lbs, many wouldn’t think of Hartman as a power forward, but that is exactly the type of game that Hartman plays. He really is a very gritty and physical forward. He is extremely physical in all areas of the ice and especially strong on the forcheck. Hartman protects the puck very well down low and is excellent in the cycle game. He fights through checks, and gets to the dirty areas of the ice. Hartman is a playmaker, who uses excellent passing skills and very good vision to set up teamates. He has very good hockey sense and often makes the smart play with the puck on his stick, and has an ability to find openings when its not. His wrist shot is extremely heavy and features an excellent release. He also can score some goals by taking the puck to the net, and using his soft hands in close. Hartman is an agitator who loves to chirp opponents and is often in the middle of things after the whistle. He’s also been known to drop the gloves.
Hartman is a very good skater, he has good top end speed, and reaches it quickly with a quick first step and good acceleration. His biggest asset is his excellent lateral agility, and good edgework which allows him to escape checkers and pull away from them in the offensive zone. Hartman has very good balance, and is strong on the puck, and difficult to knock off of it.
Defensively his game is well advanced as seen in his World Junior performance, he pressures the puck very well and forces his opponents to make errors. He is fearless in blocking shots and brings his physical game to the defensive end of the ice. He is really solid on the penalty kill playing a great pressure game, and cutting down passing lanes very well. If there is a criticism, it is the tendency to get over-zealous at times, and that he can sometimes be undisciplined taking penalties for his stickwork. He will also need to add some upper body bulk to excel at the next level.
Hartman’s style is reminiscent of Ryan Callahan. Potential wise, he could become an excellent second line player capable of playing key minutes against top oppostion and on the PK and PP. He is a pretty safe pick though, as even if he can’t crack the top 6, he will make the NHL in a bottom line capacity.
Check back tomorrow for our number 27 prospect.
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