Blackhawks: So Long, Ryan Hartman


Stephanie Racker The Chicago Blackhawks have taken a bold step in their newest trade. Ryan Hartman, right winger drafted 30th overall in 2013, is now headed to the Nashville Predators. In return, Chicago will receive 22 year old Swedish Hockey League forward Victor Ejdsell, as well as a first and fourth round draft pick. Hartman, who currently boasts 25 points in 57 games, has been slowly falling out of favor by coach Joel Quenneville, demonstrated through the decrease in his ice time and increase in his number of healthy scratches. After the Chicago Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, there was hope that Ryan Hartman could fill his role as both an agitator and a player who brings grit to the ice. However, Hartman fell a little below the expectations of the organization during the 2016-2017 season, only registering 31 points in 76 games. That said, Hartman started off the 2017-2018 season fairly strong and proved to be a productive member of the Hawks when paired with Schmaltz and Kane. Unfortunately, his output reduced as the season progressed, and he later found himself as a bottom six forward. Ryan Hartman’s general decline in ability to produce makes Nashville’s choice to cash in both a first and fourth round draft pick along with a prospect somewhat unexpected and perplexing. While Hartman can surely provide a high level of spirit and determination along with a well-rounded skill set with decent play making abilities, it’s still unclear why Nashville would willinging take him at such a high expense with regards to prospects and draft choices. At its current state, Hartman’s contract is cheap with his cap hit at $863,333, but he is set to become a Restricted Free Agent at the end of the season, meaning his price will most likely go up more. For once, the Hawks are not trading a player because they couldn’t afford him, but instead because they are looking to build up their prospect pool. It will also be interesting to see where Ejdsell will fit into the equation for the Chicago Blackhawks. At 22, he stands to make an impact on the NHL based on his youth and relative success in the SHL. Victor Ejdsell was never drafted in the NHL, which makes his addition to the Chicago Blackhawks similar to Artemi Panarin’s entrance into the Hawks’ lineup. As a member of the Swedish Hockey League team HV71, Ejdsell has registered 30 points in 44 games during the current 2017-2018 season. No matter what the circumstances, trading their own, 23 year old first round pick is a relatively gutsy move, even with the slew of draft picks the Hawks as of now acquired. The Chicago Blackhawks will not know whether or not their trade bodes a positive or negative impact on the team until Hartman is fully integrated into the Predators and if by next season, the numbers he puts up drastically changes. With the season essentially over, Stan Bowman needed to start making changes to ensure that next season the Chicago Blackhawks don’t end up in this season’s current predicament. Whether the risk he took will pay off is up for debate. ]]>