For West Dundee’s Ryan Hartman, it has been a whirlwind week since the Blackhawks made him their first pick in the draft.
It took until a few days ago for it to finally sink in that the team he grew up rooting for with his dad, his hometown team, called his name on draft day.
“It didn’t sink in until a few days after the draft,” Hartman said. “It’s really cool. Growing up watching the Blackhawks, cheering for them, I thought coming to the draft I’d have to start cheering for another team, but I got lucky and I get to continue to cheer for them.”
So far, getting drafted by the Hawks has been everything Hartman thought it would be … and more.
“It’s really awesome to be able to wear the jersey and have your name on the back of it,” he said. “You always imagine your name being there, and it’s finally there.”
It was an emotional time for Hartman and his family when he heard his name called by the Blackhawks with the 30th pick in the first round.
“My dad and my mom, aunts and uncles, they’ve always been die-hard Blackhawks fans, my grandparents, too,” Hartman said. “They’re all really excited and obviously I am, too. They definitely got a really big kick out of it.
“Growing up I was a big fan even though the games weren’t televised yet. When I started getting older they finally put the games on TV and then they won the Stanley Cup in 2010. It’s definitely not a bad team to be cheering for.”
Hartman was at Johnny’s IceHouse West for the start of prospects camp Monday even if he couldn’t participate in the on-ice portion of it.
He underwent surgery for a dislocated shoulder eight weeks ago, and everything is on schedule for a full recovery. He thinks he is 2-3 weeks from skating again.
The plan is for Hartman to return to Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League for another season before starting his pro career.
“I’m going to do the best that I can to earn a spot and do what I have to do here, but at the end of the day if I don’t it’s perfectly fine and I’ll try to have a good year over in Plymouth and come back next year ready to play,” he said.
The team had the Stanley Cup on display Monday in the Hawks’ United Center dressing room for the prospects to see.
Hanging in the stalls and surrounding the Cup were the jerseys of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marian Hossa.
It was an impressive arrangement.
“Seeing the Stanley Cup, wherever it is, is pretty cool,” Hartman said. “Seeing it in the locker room, knowing it’s your team with all those jerseys around the room was pretty cool.”
Hartman, who first played for the Schaumburg Kings and later the Chicago Mission and Team Illinois, was considered by one scout to be the top agitator in the draft.
He had 23 goals, 60 points and 120 penalty minutes last season at Plymouth in 56 games.
“I take it as a compliment because that’s part of my game,” Hartman said. “But I also have as pretty good offensive side too at the same time.”
The Hawks like everything about Hartman’s game.
“Ryan’s a really competitive, honest two-way guy, and at the end of the day, when you mix skill and compete together, you get a real nice player,” Hawks amateur scout Jim McKellar told blackhawks.com.
“He’s not afraid to block shots, not afraid to run people over; he gets into fights and is aggressive.”
ŸGoalie Antti Raanta, one of the bigger stories of prospects camp, was kept off the ice Monday as a precaution after suffering what the Hawks called a minor injury.
ŸFollow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.