Top Hawks prospect Hartman learning by experience
Ryan Hartman has been a man on the move lately.
For the West Dundee native, whose family recently relocated to Naperville while he himself has set up shop in Lincoln Park, it's been a whirlwind year or so.
It began when the Blackhawks' top pick a year ago sustained a skate cut to his right wrist while playing for the Plymouth Whalers during an Ontario Hockey League playoff game in April 2013. Shortly thereafter he was drafted by the team he grew up adoring.
That was followed by a full season -- and a handful of playoff games -- with the Whalers, a short stint with the Rockford IceHogs at the end of the year, and now, here he is participating in Prospect Camp this week.
"It's nice to see the guys and the coaching staff and be around the organization and wearing the Blackhawks sweater," the 20-year-old forward said. "It's good to be here and around all of the guys."
Hartman had quite the run with the Whalers last season, notching 53 points in 52 regular season game and 4 points in 5 postseason games before moving on to Rockford where he fit right in with 7 points in 9 games.
"It was good to get in the organization and kind of know the staff," he said of his stint with the IceHogs. "It was good to get a taste and get ready for next season."
It was also quite a learning experience.
"Just everything was faster," Hartman said. "It's better players, bigger players obviously. The game was that much quicker. You know you've got to get your shots off, you've got to make quicker decisions. All around, the game is a lot better."
And then there was that one perk ...
"Wearing the jersey that I grew up wearing and watching the team, it's pretty special," Hartman said with a smile. "It didn't really sink in until the first couple times I was able to wear it."
The next step would be donning the jersey with the big club, right?
"I think it just depends on them," he said. "I know I talked to them they think I did a good job in Rockford at the end of the season. We'll see. Obviously that's where I want to be.
"I think I'm going to be with Rockford next season, but it's not up to me, it's up to my play."
• Tickets for the 2014 Blackhawks Training Camp Festival will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Fans can purchase tickets for $5 on chicagoblackhawks.com, by visiting any Ticketmaster location or by calling (800) 745-3000. Fans holding tickets to the seventh annual Blackhawks Convention may also purchase tickets on-site.
• The Hawks will hold a press conference featuring Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the United Center. GM Stan Bowman will also be on hand to discuss the contract extensions of his two stars.