Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Ryan Hartman poses for a photo with general manager Stan Bowman (left) after being introduced as the number thirty overall pick to the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Go ahead and cue the Chicago native montage. Ryan Hartman, Chicago kid and #1 draft pick will make his debut tonight for the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.
Hartman has been enjoying his first pro season with the Rockford Ice Hogs scoring 8 goals and 10 assists and looked to be playing his way to a real Blackhawks audition this coming fall, but this has been a season of Rockford auditions and next up on the list is Hartman.
Hartman of course has the game that fits in a bottom 6 role unlike Teuvo Teravainen who was sent back to Rockford when Kris Versteeg returned simply because the Top 9 were in lock down because well Joel Quenneville loves Andrew Shaw so there was no room for Teuvo. But if we are speaking of Shaw the comparisons will be made of Hartman and Shaw. Hartman has been compared to Shaw with more offensive skills which would make for a pretty fun player to watch as long as he doesn’t take the stupid penalties.
Who knows what the plan is right now for any of the Blackhawks whether it’s to showcase the young kids for a trade or to see if anyone catches Quenneville’s eye so that he can be comfortable enough to keep them in Chicago.
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To be honest as much as I root for any of the Rockford players to make it with the Blackhawks none of them even Teuvo has blown the doors off and forced Bowman’s hand to keep them in Chicago and in the lineup. Everyone has shown that they have the ability to play in Chicago but have made enough mistakes not to continue to make Chicago home.
The player Hartman is replacing is Ben Smith who has not been playing very well offensively and hasn’t picked up a point since December. Smith is still great on the penalty kill so don’t look at this to have any type of permanence but more of minor wake up call to Smith that he has to produce on both ends of the ice.
The last local kid to get a start with the Blackhawks was Lemont native Scott Darling so we all know that if Hartman has a big game he can start growing that local kid legend a little bit more.
What are your thoughts about Hartman getting his first crack at playing in the NHL with the Blackhawks?
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