To help prepare our readers for the NHL Entry Draft, scheduled to take place on June 27 and 28 in Philadelphia, Madhouse Enforcer is bringing you a series of posts not only introducing you to the team’s prospects, but also to which players could be a good fit for the Chicago Blackhawks in the future.
Today we continue our look at the Top 10 prospects in the Hawks’ system with our number three prospect, forward Ryan Hartman.
The Hawks have made it a point in recent years of drafting players with Chicago-area connections, and the West Dundee native is no exception. Hartman, taken in the first round of the 2013 draft by the Blackhawks, had a great career both with the US National Development Team and the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL, scoring 48 goals and dishing out 65 assists in 108 games over two seasons with the latter club.
Hartman also signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blackhawks last November, and he made his debut with the Rockford IceHogs this season. In just nine games, Hartman scored three goals and added four assists for the IceHogs.
“I’ve liked him,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said of Hartman during training camp in September. “I think one thing he brings is he’s got a real good feel for the game…He’s an effective player as far as play recognition, positionally aware. He sees and makes plays, and he knows where he is around the rink.”
Outlook for the Blackhawks:
Those quotes from Quenneville tell you everything you need to know about Hartman’s future with the team. The coaching staff of the Hawks makes it a point of embracing players that are able to contribute on both sides of the ice, and Hartman definitely seems to fall into that category. He’s a smooth skater with great scoring and passing ability, and he has displayed those attributes in spades during his limited time in the organization.
In the future, Hartman could see himself as a top line or second group guy when it comes to the forward core of the Blackhawks. He has a really high ceiling, and his responsibility and versatility make him an attractive candidate to join the team going into next season. The Hawks will likely wait another year or so before allowing him to make the jump, but there is no question that Hartman is one of the team’s top hopes for a player to rise up to the big league level and contribute in a big way.