Blackhawks trade Ryan Hartman to Predators for 1st-round pick

The young forward is heading to Nashville for a package centered on a first-round pick.

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Ryan Hartman and a 2018 fifth-round pick to the Nashville Predators for Victor Ejdsell, a 2018 first-round pick, and a 2018 fourth-round pick, the team announced Monday. The deal, first reported by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, ends days of rumors surrounding the young forward, who will become a restricted free agent this offseason.

Hartman, 23, was one of the Blackhawks’ top trade candidates this week given his contract status. There aren’t many prominent players on the roster who have zero trade protection, so it’s not surprising that the team was willing to field offers for him.

The Blackhawks get an intriguing return for the forward centered on the Predators’ 2018 first-round pick. The Hawks now have multiple picks in the first round of the draft for the first time since 2011, when they drafted Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill.

They also swap mid-round picks with Nashville and receive Ejdsell, a 22-year-old forward who is currently playing for HV71 in Sweden. He’s recorded 30 points in 44 games there and could become a depth player for the Blackhawks in the near future.

Hartman recorded eight goals and 17 assists in 57 games with the Blackhawks this season. The 2013 first-round pick bounced around the lineup and got benched for much of their last game after a high-sticking penalty, but he’s shown the ability to score goals along with having an edge to his game.

The Predators paid a fairly high price in order to acquire the forward, which is good news for the Blackhawks. They wouldn’t have traded him without a compelling package, and getting a first-rounder plus Ejdsell plus a fourth instead of a fifth is pretty dang good.