With just a couple minutes left against the Predators on Sunday, Ryan Hartman had just one goal. By the end of the Blackhawks’ 5-2 win, the rookie had his first career hat trick thanks to a pair of empty-net goals.
Hartman, 22, entered the game with just seven career goals in 37 games with the Blackhawks. Now he’s already up to 10 — fifth on the team — after adding three to his total against Nashville.
All three of Hartman’s goals came in less than nine minutes. The first goal of his night put the Blackhawks ahead, 3-2, with just 8:11 remaining in the third period. It was a controversial one that stood after a video review:
The play is under review... #Blackhawks #Preds #NSHvsCHI pic.twitter.com/OUAtJczUro— Zac Gillman (@zacgillman) January 9, 2017
The next two came in quick succession as the Predators pulled Pekka Rinne to try to force overtime. The first one was unassisted, while Patrick Kane and Niklas Hjalmarsson assisted on the second one. Kane had three assists in the game.
Hartman may not be a Calder Trophy candidate like teammate Artemi Panarin was last year, but he’s settling in as a productive player for the Blackhawks. He’s tied for fifth among NHL rookies with 10 goals, and tied 15th among all first-year players with 17 points. That won’t win him any awards, but it should definitely keep him in the lineup.