Forward Ryan Hartman is in his second season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. The native of West Dundee, Ill. helped lead the United States National Junior Team to a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. He was one of three returning players from that team invited to the U.S. National Junior Team selection camp this week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that will help determine the roster for the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden. Hartman, selected in the first round (No. 30) by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2013 NHL Draft, had two goals, three points and a plus-4 rating in seven games as a checking-line forward at last season's tournament. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound wing has graciously offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com during the four-day camp at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Hi all! We just concluded our opening exhibition game here in Mankato against Minnesota State with a 3-2 win in overtime.
I thought we started off a little sloppy but it was our first full game as a unit. I thought as the period went on we got a little better. I thought we lacked a little bit on the power play [1-for-3] and let up two penalty-kill goals [on four chances] so we need to improve special teams, but overall it was a good game.
I thought it was pretty awesome that Hudson [Fasching] was able to get the game-winner, being from the University of Minnesota. I'm sure he had family and friends at the game and to pull a move like that in overtime was pretty cool, especially when you're wearing the USA crest so it's pretty awesome. Everyone in the locker room was pretty proud of him.
I thought Jack Eichel's game was good. He sees the ice well and is a smooth skater. He gets pucks in and gets the puck to you and I like playing with him and he's a special player. He's here for a reason and such a young kid, it's really good to see what he can do out there.
I was happy with my overall game. I got pucks in, had a few hits and I just tried to keep it simple and didn't try to do too much and got some power-play time and didn't capitalize but I felt I moved the puck around well and we're just going to get better.
I'm looking forward to our trip to Sweden now to continue the camp and improve. I know we're going to lose a few guys but we'll come together as a team and we're going to be good, a top contender and I think we're going to do well in Malmo [Sweden].
So that's it from the University of Minnesota. I hope you liked the blog posts. I want to thank NHL.com for giving me the chance; it was a lot of fun.
Follow Ryan Hartman on Twitter at: @RHartzy18