Thanks to many different contributors up and down the roster, the Minnesota Wild has been outstanding all season. The Wild has been riding the hot stick of Kirill Kaprizov all season as the young elite winger eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time in his career and the first time in team history. While Kaprizov is the star and face of the franchise in Minnesota, his linemate Ryan Hartman has flourished playing alongside Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello as he continues to add to his career year. Thanks to everyone’s effort and elite play, the Wild are playoff-bound as they gear up to face the St. Louis Blues in the First Round of this year’s 2022 playoffs.
Coming into this season, Hartman was never known for his offensive prowess as he’s only eclipsed the ten-goal mark twice in his career, with his career-high being 19 goals back in 2016-2017. Hartman’s other career highs were 31 points also in 2016-2017 and 17 assists the following season in 2017-2018.
That all changed this season as Hartman has blossomed into a top scorer for Minnesota; he now sits second on the team in goals with 34, thanks to his goal last night to break his tie with Kevin Fiala. Hartman now has four points over his previous four games, with three of them coming off goals. Throughout the season, Hartman has contributed on both ends as he owns totals of 34 goals and 29 assists for 63 points through 80 games as he anchors the top line of the Wild.
Hartman is doing all this while averaging 18:11 minutes of TOI a game which is third amongst forwards on the team. His 63 points put him behind only team leader Kirill Kaprizov (105), Kevin Fiala (84), and fellow linemate Mats Zuccarello (79). It hasn’t just been the increase in goals, assists, and points for Hartman that has set him apart but his ability to deliver in the clutch as he is tied for first on the team with seven game-winning goals. He has been a difference-maker for this team as he is third on the team and first amongst forwards with his plus-29 rating.
It was just a matter of time before the former first-rounder found his game at the NHL level, and luckily for the Wild, it came at the right time. With previous stints in Chicago, who drafted him 30th overall in 2013, Nashville, and Philadelphia, Hartman has finally found a home in Minnesota as this is his third season for the Wild. At 27-years-old he is just hitting his prime, and with two years at $1.7 AAV remaining on his contract after this season, the Wild are getting a steal if Hartman can repeat this level of success for years to come. For Hartman, he looks to build on his stellar regular season and help lead his team to a deep playoff run, bring home the first-ever Stanley Cup to Minnesota, and put an exclamation mark on his career year.