Ryan Hartman is one of the oldest players in this year's draft class, so with the NHL Numbers consensus rankings palcing him 28th, I was expecting to see some pretty strong offensive numbers from the 5'11.5'' forward. And though his numbers aren't bad, it's actually his play on the other side of the puck that have him ranked so high. Corey Pronman gives a strong analysis of what his role is likely to be at the NHL level:
He is a very aware defensive player, as he makes great reads, and he will provide value in his own end at both even strength and the penalty kill... Hartman will create from the perimeter, drive the net, and play tough defensive situations. He does not have a ton of upside, but he projects as an above-average regular.
Craig Button's synopsis has a different but very complementary emphasis:
He competes, has an edge, can be chippy and dirty but he plays within the confines of discipline. He will target 'key' players on the opposition side... Overall, a player who is no fun to play against!
The one thing I might disagree with in Button's take is that he plays within the confines of discipline. Hartman led the Plymouth Whalers in regular season penalty minutes this season with 120 in just 56 games. Those obviously aren't all minor penalties, but it's the kind of stat that speaks to chippy more than it does to discipline, as does the fact that of Hartman's six fighting majors, two of them involved the other guy taking an instigator penalty. Those of you who watched the World Junior Championships may also remember Hartman getting penalized for a hit to the head against in a game against Canada. It's not much of a surprise, then, that when Bob McKenzie polled the scouts, Hartman was voted the best agitator in the draft.
But like I said off the top, that's not the only trick he's got in his bag: Hartman is also a pretty solid offensive player as we can see by looking at his comparables. In this case a comparable player was someone who played his draft year in the CHL, had an adjusted goals per game rate between 0.38 and 0.47, an adjusted points per game rate between 0.94 and 1.15 (90% to 110% of Hartman's production), and was selected somewhere between 23rd and 33rd overall.
A lot of recent draftees in the group, but the guys with extensive NHL experience offer some hope that Hartman will be able to bring some offense to the NHL as well.
There's enough skill to suggest some possible upside, but the scouting report emphasizes his abilities in other areas. I don't generally think it makes sense to add players early in the draft if you're projecting them as bottom-six options, but in Hartman's case, it's easy to see how he might fit a bottom six role if he doesn't maximize his offensive potential while still having a real chance of playing higher in the lineup.
Next up tomorrow morning: The Final Draft List
My Draft List:
1 - Nathan MacKinnon (Comparables)
2 - Jonathan Drouin (Comparables)
3 - Seth Jones (Comparables)
4 - Aleksander Barkov (Comparables)
5 - Elias Lindholm (Comparables)
6 - Valeri Nichushkin (Comparables)
7 - Sean Monahan (Comparables)
8 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Comparables)
9 - Darnell Nurse (Comparables)
10 - Ryan Pulock (Comparables)
11 - Anthony Mantha (Comparables)
12 - Max Domi (Comparables)
13 - Artturi Lehkonen (Comparables)
14 - Alexander Wennberg (Comparables)
15 - Hunter Shinkaruk (Comparables)
16 - Kerby Rychel (Comparables)
17 - Josh Morrissey (Comparables)
18 - Nikita Zadorov (Comparables)
19 - Mirco Mueller (Comparables)
20 - Samuel Morin (Comparables)
21 - Frederik Gauthier (Comparables)
22 - Nicolas Petan (Comparables)
23 - Morgan Klimchuk (Comparables)
24 - Valentin Zykov (Comparables)
25 - Bo Horvat (Comparables)
26 - Ryan Hartman
27 - Adam Erne (Comparables)
28 - Curtis Lazar (Comparables)
29 - Andre Burakowsky (Comparables)
30 - Robert Hagg (Comparables)