He came to the Predators as an 18-year-old youngster fresh out of junior hockey, and left six seasons later as a physical power forward and a veteran of 436 games. Nashville selected Scott Hartnell with its first pick of the 2000 Entry Draft, and on Oct. 7 of that year he became the youngest player in the NHL and the youngest ever to suit up for the Preds at 18 years, 172 days.
A native of Regina, Sask., Hartnell sits fourth on the franchise’s all-time games played list, third in all-time goals (93), and first in penalty minutes (544). He authored back-to-back 20-goal seasons in his final two years with the team, potting 25 in 2005-06, and 22 in 2006-07.
Hartnell was in on a number of memorable moments in Predators history, including the 1,000th goal in franchise’s history – an overtime game winner at Anaheim on Nov. 21, 2003. He also holds the record for most game-winning goals in a season, posting eight in 2005-06. One of those came on his first career hat trick in a 6-0 victory against Chicago on Feb. 4, 2006.
On the verge of becoming the youngest unrestricted free agent in league history, Hartnell was traded along with Kimmo Timonen to the Philadelphia Flyers on June 18, 2007. He immediately signed a six-year contract to play in the City of Brotherly Love.
“Timonen was our team captain this past season and an All-Star, while Hartnell is a young player that we drafted, inserted in our lineup at age 18, and saw develop into a 25-goal scorer,” General Manager David Poile said following the trade. “Both of these players have been important contributors to our franchise’s success and we wish them the best going forward.”