Is Ryan Hartman the Answer?

By Brian Kasnicka

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

Ryan Hartman made his NHL debut Friday night against the New Jersey Devils.  You could say he’s already made quite the impression.  Although Ryan Hartman was held off the score sheet Friday night, he made an impact in other facets of the game.  He registered two hits and three shots on goal in just 9:05 of ice time.  Dainius Zubrus (6’5 224 lbs) felt Hartman’s ( 5’10 190 lbs) presence early in the game after a bone crushing hit from the West Dundee Illinois native.  Coach Q seems to like Hartman, or at least as much as he can like a rookie.  Hartman could be sent back to Rockford any day now, so he’s making the most of his time with the Hawks.  He’s excited to be playing with the Hawks and he shows that every shift he’s on the ice.  He hustles, finishes his checks, and just has an energy about him that has been absent from the Hawks in the past week or two.

Earlier this season I said that Ryan Hartman would be a rookie to watch.  His physical presence is something the Hawks have yearned for the past few seasons.  This is what I had to say about Hartman back in September.

"“The Blackhawks 2013 first round pick has continued to make strides in his game.  He’s expected to start the season in Rockford where he finished up last season after his OHL season ended.  Hartman won’t turn any heads with his size, 5’11 190 pounds, but he will turn heads with his ability to be a gritty player.  Hartman brings a physical presence to the game and is not afraid to throw around his 190 pound frame.  Hartman needs to continue to develop the offensive side of his game in Rockford before he gets a crack at the Hawks line-up.”"

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Hartman may not be the prized prospect like Teravainen, but he might just be the prospect the Hawks need.  Teravainen needed to be playing first line minutes, that’s why he was sent back to Rockford.  Hartman however, can play that third line role, hit people, and get some decent minutes that will be beneficial to him in the long run.

Hartman proved he can hit, now he just needs to show that he can tickle the twine.  Hartman could be the spark plug the Hawks need to get back on track.  If the Hawks continue to struggle, look for Bowman and the Hawks brass to pull the trigger on some kind of trade.  a