Wild See Silver Lining in Hartman’s Performance

The Minnesota Wild’s season came to a close a lot sooner than anyone hoped for, as they lost in seven games in the first round to the Vegas Golden Knights. There were many ups and downs throughout the series but one of the silver linings was the play of several players for the Wild. One such player was forward Ryan Hartman.

He was one of several players that had a good showing in the playoffs, both offensively and defensively. Forwards Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek, Kirill Kaprizov, and Zach Parise all had good runs in the postseason along with Hartman. With those players having the success they did, Hartman’s performance went somewhat under the radar.

Hartman’s Regular Season

Hartman may not have been a leader in scoring but he still made an impact. As far as points go, he sat right outside the top-10 with 22, just one point out of ninth. For goals and assists, he was tied for tenth place with seven goals, and regarding assists, he was once again tied but this time for ninth place with 15 assists.

Breaking the goals down even farther, he was only one of two players on the whole team who managed to score a goal while shorthanded, the other being Marcus Foligno. He managed to have two total points on the penalty kill which led the team for the season. On the flip side, he had three total power-play points, all assists.

Switching from goal scoring to goal defending, Hartman didn’t do too badly there, either. He was able to block 33 shots from getting to the net and helped out his goalies along the way. Having mentioned his points and blocked shots, it’s time to mention his hits. He had a total of 55 through his 51 games and some of them translated to minutes spent in the penalty box – 33 for the season. Nothing too spectacular, but still on the higher end for the season.

Ryan Hartman Minnesota Wild
Ryan Hartman, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He had some decent numbers, but when the playoffs started, he turned it up a notch and was focusing more on offense and defense rather than hits.

Hartman’s Playoff Numbers

The Wild were unable to do much for scoring against the Golden Knights in the playoffs but that didn’t stop Hartman from tallying a couple himself. He added two goals to the Wild’s totals, putting him just one point away from tying for the team lead. It’s not a lot considering they played seven games and managed to score only 13 times. One of his goals also turned out to be a game-winner in Game 6 that sent them to Game 7.

Despite being a minus-5 for the duration of the playoffs, he did put up 17 shots on goal, which claimed him the third spot on the Wild roster. Defensively, his numbers were once again in the upper half of the stats sheet. He had nine blocked shots but almost more importantly, he led the team in takeaways with eight throughout their seven games.

Continuing with examining the numbers, he led in another area that doesn’t match up with his right-wing position. That stat is faceoff win percentage – he may be a wing but he took quite a few draws during both the regular and postseason. During the regular season, his percentage was something that could’ve been greatly improved, being just 41.5 percent in 477 faceoffs, but during the playoffs that number jumped to 48.9 percent with 88 faceoffs.

That increase made him the top faceoff winner on the team, something the Wild struggled greatly with all season long. If Minnesota had been able to get that kind of production from not only their stand-in centers but their regular centers as well, they may have had a different outcome.

Hartman’s Importance

Now that we’ve taken a look at both his regular-season numbers and also his playoff numbers, Hartman has definitely proved his importance to the team. He may not be the top goalscorer or even point-scorer, but he’s one of the most reliable players on the ice.

He played consistently, appearing in 51 of the Wild’s 56 regular-season games, while missing five due to a lower-body injury back at the beginning of March. That injury didn’t slow him down once he returned – he jumped right back in with back-to-back games where he had three shots each. He also scored just two games later in the Wild’s 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

Ryan Hartman Minnesota Wild
Ryan Hartman, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Hartman would easily be defined as a gritty, hardworking right-wing who doesn’t stop. He blocks shots and delves out hits when necessary. The Wild did the right thing in signing him to a three-year deal back in April of this year. Now with their season over, the Wild have a lot to think about as the Expansion Draft moves closer. They’ll need to decide who to protect and who not to.

He has proved to be a valuable asset to the Wild but he could also prove to be an asset to the up-and-coming Seattle Kraken who will be on the lookout for young but experienced players. Hartman is one of many players that could be selected by the Kraken come July. The Wild have some difficult decisions to make but they have some time to decide. Hopefully, Hartman will be around next season to help the Wild reach the playoffs and go even farther than before.

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