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Get to Know: Ryan Hartman

Newest Preds Forward is Equally Competitive on the Golf Course; May Have Personal Cheering Section at Bridgestone Arena

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

It took Ryan Hartman 59 minutes into his first game as a Nashville Predators forward to score one of the biggest goals of the Preds season and of his career.

When he directed a pass from Roman Josi into the net in Winnipeg to give his new club a 6-5 lead with exactly one minute to play in regulation, Hartman became the latest in a long line of Predators to score in their debut with the team.

From there, the Predators went on to sweep their trip through Western Canada and Colorado, quite an introduction for the former Chicago Blackhawks winger.

Now, Hartman is finally set to make his home debut, a Tuesday night tilt with Dallas at Bridgestone Arena.

So, before he slips on a No. 38 Gold sweater for the first time, get to know the player who may become another mainstay in the Nashville forward corps for years to come.

Born in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Hartman moved to Chicago when he was two and began skating at age four. As a young hockey player, the NHL was a dream, but there was another aspiration in mind first:

"As a kid, the NHL is kind of your end goal, but I think my whole life, I wanted to get a college scholarship, help my parents out that way and get my schooling paid for. I ended up getting a full-ride scholarship, and then from there I made the U.S. National Development Team. At that point, you're playing with guys that are going to be Top-10 picks and that was kind of the point where the NHL seemed like a reachable goal."

He lists Darius Rucker as his favorite musician, and he knows a couple of people who are familiar with his work:

"My mother and father went to college with him when they were Hootie and the Blowfish, big college band, so I'd probably have to go with Darius."

He'll take any Netflix suggestions, if you have them:

"I'm running out of shows to watch, but I'm currently watching a show called Peaky Blinders on Netflix. I did the whole Stranger Things and Sons Of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, obviously."

Since the author of this piece has a Stranger Things obsession, favorite character?

"I have to say the curly haired kid with no teeth, Dusty, yeah, he's pretty funny."

He's not really one to lounge around on the couch:

"I golf a lot, I'm a big hunter, and then fisherman in the summers. That's kind of my getaway when I'm not playing hockey, I'm either on the golf course or doing something outside."

And he might just be the best golfer on the team:

"I'm pretty competitive. I joined a country club in Chicago last summer and a there's lot of money games, couple tournaments; everyone says golf is a stress reliever and it's supposed to be fun, but sometimes it is maybe more stressful than anything. I get competitive."

He may end up visiting one of his Swiss teammates at some point:

"[If I could go anywhere in the world], I would say Switzerland. I had a chance to go play there once during the winter and it was pretty crazy, breathtaking just with all the mountains. The little town that we were in was pretty high up altitude-wise, and every morning we were essentially above the clouds. Every morning the clouds would come roll up to the city and at night it would come back down through the city, so it was pretty cool."

He'll probably have his own cheering section in Nashville more often than not:

"My mom's side of the family is in Birmingham, Alabama. Whenever I come down to Nashville, I have the whole family that always comes to watch, so they're pretty excited about it."

And finally, he's ready to have a positive experience at Bridgestone Arena:

"It stunk playing in there in a different jersey for sure. I'm excited to wear the Gold in there and be on the right side of the fans this time."

Video: NSH@WPG: Hartman breaks tie with his first Preds goal

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