The Chicago Blackhawks and their one OHL prospect are up next.
Ryan Hartman - Plymouth Whalers
Despite performing very well in the AHL at the end of the season (which Hawks fans probably honestly care more about), Hartman did not have a very good OHL season. The Whalers were not a strong offensive team this year and they needed Hartman to be a consistent leader on the ice, and I don't think he was able to accomplish that. He actually became the whipping boy of Whalers' fans this year, justified or not. I think the biggest disappointment I had this year with Hartman was the lack of urgency in his game away from the puck. This was something that made him such a force in his draft year and made me really like him as a prospect. But he didn't play with as much tenacity and intensity this year (at least in the games I saw). The physical component, in correlation with forechecking and defensive awareness just wasn't a consistent part of his game. It looked like he was trying too hard to be an offensive player while neglecting some of the things that made him a top draft pick. I think he simply put too much pressure on himself to be the number one creator of scoring chances on the team and subsequently lost his way a bit. All that being said, he's still a solid prospect (which is obvious by the way he performed at the AHL level this year). Best of luck to him as he starts his pro career this year.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
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