— Nashville Preds PR (@PredsPR) July 16, 2018
Ryan Hartman Remains a Predator
Drafted 30th overall, at the very end of the first round, in the 2013 NHL entry draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Hartman split this past season between the Blackhawks and the Predators. Nashville acquired him prior to the trade deadline in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, prospect Victor Edjsell, and the Predators fourth-round pick in 2018. He played a total of 78 games, tallying 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points. His Corsi-for was a strong 53.0 percent, but the relative figure was a -0.1.
Nearing the end of February, Hartman’s goal-scoring had dipped for the Hawks, although his overall point-per-game production was on pace for a career-best year thanks to a high volume of assists. After annually qualifying for the postseason for quite some time, Chicago fell short of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This put them into position to sell at the deadline, and Hartman found his way out the door.
Unfortunately, his production fell in Nashville as he assumed a lower role in their lineup. He saw an uptick in average ice time but was not deployed nearly as often in the offensive zone (54.2% defensive zone starts, after seeing just 39.2% defensive zone starts in Chicago). In 21 games, Hartman scored just three goals. His Corsi fell dramatically too, from 54.2% in Chicago to just 49.7% with the Preds.
Expectations Elevated for Ryan Hartman Next Year
Given the fact that Nashville shipped out a first round pick and more for him, Hartman will be expected to grow and produce more for the team moving forward. He excelled defensively as used by Nashville, but there’s no doubt David Poile will want to see more from the player who hit 19 goals just one full season ago.
At just 24, the ceiling is still high for Ryan Hartman. He will need to perform and develop further into a top-six forward to make that trade look worthwhile. He’s also coming off an injured labrum that limited him to nine playoff appearances (two goals and three points in that span). This injury required surgery and put him out of commission for at least five months for rehab.
Fans must hope the injury does not have lasting effects on Hartman’s career or development. He has potential, and with the right linemates he could have an enormous season. Keep a close eye on him this next season as he works to truly break out.
NASHVILLE, TN – APRIL 14: Nashville Predators right wing Ryan Hartman #38 gets a rebound and scores an empty net goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period during the second game of round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena April 14, 2018. Nashville won 5-4 to take a two-game lead in the series. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)