NEWARK, N.J. – Ryan Hartman sat and waited through the lengthy 2013 NHL Entry Draft’s first round at the Prudential Center. And waited and waited.
“I had my palms sweating,” said Hartman, who grew up watching the Chicago Blackhawks in West Dundee. “I saw (the Blackhawks’) name at the lower end of the board and I pictured my name being there. I was hoping they’d pick me.”
And with that final selection of the first round, the Blackhawks did.
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The Blackhawks picked Hartman with the 30th overall pick, their only first-round selection of the draft on Sunday. For Hartman, whose family moved to West Dundee when he was 2 years old, getting selected by the hometown team was a dream come true.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said a few minutes after being selected. “(Winning) their second Stanley Cup in four years. Also being a hometown kid, it’s that much sweeter. My mom was anxious to hear my name get called (by the Blackhawks). So it worked out for me.”
The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Hartman played this past season for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. A right wing who was moved to center, Hartman recorded 23 goals and 37 assists in 56 games this season. General manager Stan Bowman said that Hartman being a Chicago-area kid is a nice touch, but that’s not why the Blackhawks selected him.
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“He’s a heart-and-soul kind of guy,” Bowman said. “He gets under other teams’ skin but he has a lot of talent as well. He’s a competitive kid. He’s the kind of player the fans will certainly embrace and he’ll be a Blackhawk for many years to come.”
Hartman, who said his dad was an Eric Daze fan, is a big Jonathan Toews fan. And the thought of playing along side him some day is enticing.
“That would be unbelievable,” Hartman said. “Growing up, watching the Blackhawks play and seeing a guy like Toews turn the team around, take them to win two Cups, he’s an awesome player.”
The Blackhawks, who began the night with five draft picks, finished with eight. Bowman was happy with the variety of players they obtained.
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“We mixed in some size and skill. It was a nice mix for us, and we wanted to have a good combination,” he said. “Coming out of it, we got a lot of players we’re really excited about.”
Here are the Blackhawks’ 2013 NHL Entry Draft selections:
1. (30th) Ryan Hartman RW Plymouth Whalers (OHL) 5-11, 185
2. ^(51st) Carl Dahlstrom D Djurgarden U-18 (SWE) 6-3, 191
3. ^^ (74th) John Hayden C US National Team U-18 (USHL) 6-2, 220
4. ^^^(111th) Robin Norell D Djurgarden Jr. (SWE) 5-10, 176
4. (121st) Tyler Motte C U.S.A. U-18 (USHL) 5-9, 190
5. ^^(134th) Luke Johnson C Lincoln Stars (USHL) 5-11, 179
6. (181st) Anthony Louis C U.S.A. U-18 (USHL) 5-6, 145
7. (211st) Robin Press D Sodertalje (SWE) 6-2, 187
^ Acquired from Toronto (along with a fourth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft) in exchange for forward Dave Bolland.
^^ Acquired from WPG in exchange for forward Michael Frolik.
^^^ Acquired from SJS along with a fifth round-pick in the 2014 Entry Draft on June 30, 2013, in exchange for the 117th overall selection (originally acquired from TOR) and the 151st overall selection in the 2013 Entry Draft.