Game 2 of the Nashville/Chicago series is underway and Ryan Hartman has moved up to the first line along side Jonathan Toews and Richard Pánik.
Looks like Vinnie Hinostroza is in tonight instead of Tootoo. #Blackhawks starters: Keith-Hjalmarsson, Hartman-Toews-Panik, Crawford.
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) April 16, 2017
This is important because it shows that Hartman’s talent is being recognized and his status in the NHL is growing. The 22-year-old has continuously proved himself and has shown he is a player with depth. This season, he tallied 19 goals and 12 assists for a total of 31 points in the regular season.
I remember when he was drafted to the Hawks first round (30th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. We didn’t see him again until his NHL debut in 2015.
He didn’t make much of an impact only tallying one assist for one point in three games played.
This year Hartman has really shown what a dynamic player he is and has proved himself an asset to the Hawks. At 6-foot-1, he plays with noticeable aggression, he shows a toughness typical of a hockey player. He throws hard hits and protects his teammates when he needs too, which could make up for the loss of Shaw and his aggressiveness.
On Feb. 18, Hartman decided to take on Oilers Defenseman Eric Gryba who has about 4 inches and 50 lbs. on him.
Hartman said that fighting Gryba was a “no brainer.” The scrum followed Gryba shoving Tanner Kero into the boards. Although the fight landed Hartman in the penalty box, Quenneville approved of the decision to drop the gloves, stating in the postgame interview: “Hartzy’s a competitive guy. We like him to have that abrasiveness and unpredictability so there’s nothing wrong with that. We like how he competes and what he brings us.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 9, 2017
It’s obvious that Quenneville likes the way Hartman plays and clearly he has continued to prove himself as evident by his move to the first line tonight. As a young, dynamic player, Hartman has his whole career in front of him and being on such a strong team gives him a great platform to continue to strengthen his skill and make a name for himself in the league.
*Feature image via NHL.com*