Ryan Hartman, an Illinois native brought up through the United States National Team Development program, is currently a spunky right winger in the OHL for the Plymouth Whalers.
Hartman most recently put on an impressive performance at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship on a gold medal winning United States team that features Columbus natives Sean Kuraly and Connor Murphy. His intelligent-yet-aggressive play on the third line generated offense and was often matched up against opponents’ top lines. He was also a member of the gold medal winning U.S. squad at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
Listed at No. 16 on NHL Cenral Scouting’s final ranking for North American skaters, Hartman is best known for his physical play as a power forward despite his smaller size at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. He’s the kind of guy who plays his tail off between the whistles and isn’t afraid to mix it up after the whistle if need be; this season alone, he sat in the penalty box for 120 minutes and is a physical presence at both ends of the ice.
Hartman’s greatest strength is his two-way ability. He has quick acceleration and good top-end speed that helps him scale the ice at an impressive pace. His lateral agility and edgework are excellent, which allow him to avoid checks and make plays in the offensive zone. With his balance and skating strength, Hartman is dangerous with the puck and makes it hard for players to take the puck off his stick.
Hartman also excels defensively. He pressures opponents to make errors and quick decisions due to relentless puck pursuit and he blocks shots fearlessly. On the penalty kill – where you can regularly find him as the top option - he reads plays and gets into passing lanes to clear the puck and often creates plays while shorthanded.
With the majority of his points over the past two seasons coming from assists, it’s not hard to see that Hartman is a solid playmaker. His vision and passing skills, along with what scouts see as keen hockey sense, allow him to make smart plays that set up his teammates from all forward positions. He has an ability to make chances out of nothing, often finding openings when they don’t seem to exist.
Though Hartman is viewed as a great thinker of the game, he sometimes has a habit of taking undisciplined penalties.
With more development, Hartman could potentially grow into a power forward role and excel on specialty teams for the Blue Jackets. Because he is already such a solid player with experience on the big stage, Hartman could see some third and fourth line time early on but could progress into an excellent second line winger and penalty kill specialist.
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2011-2012 USA U-18 USHL 59 16 25 41 6 136
2012-2013 Plymouth OHL 56 23 37 60 29 120
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