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2018-19 Player Review: Ryan Hartman sure has heart, man.

He brings skill and physicality to the bottom six, but isn’t a world-beater

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the season in the form they did, it was always assumed that the Flyers would be selling at the trade deadline. Along with a conditional fourth round pick in the 2020 NHL draft, the Flyers received Ryan Hartman in the deal that sent Wayne Simmonds to the Nashville Predators. The former first round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks hasn’t quite lived up to the prestige that comes with being drafted so highly, but the right winger has become a decent role-player at the NHL level and we saw that in his limited time with the Flyers.

By The Numbers

Basic Stats

Ryan Hartman: 2018-19 (PHI)

Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
19 2 4 6 30 32 6.3

None of his scoring statistics are notable or unexpected. Hartman had himself one eventful debut, with big hits and a fight to sweeten his bittersweet replacement of Wayne Simmonds.

For a bottom six forward, six points in 19 games isn’t the worst output, setting aside having little time to settle in with the Flyers. Hartman can score at a decent pace for a third line RW (and at a very good pace for a fourth line RW), and can set the tone with his willingness to throw hits and be aggressive. Not only has his physicality somewhat softened the blow that was moving on from Simmonds, but Hartman adds depth to the Flyers forward corps at a friendlier price for the Flyers moving forward. Regardless of his output, Simmonds has the NHL pedigree to improve his bargaining price, which Hartman lacks given he has not enjoyed the success that Simmonds has in the past. This is particularly relieving given Simmonds’ production in Nashville (three points in 17 games), and he appears to be in serious decline — moving forward with Hartman proves to be a smart choice. Hartman has proven himself to be effectively skilled in his role, and that makes him valuable.

5v5 Individual Stats

Ryan Hartman: 5v5

Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
1.67 1.39 13.6 0.54

5v5 on ice stats

Ryan Hartman: 5v5

Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals Relative Goals For % PDO
Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals Relative Goals For % PDO
41.4 -5.75 9.34 -3.67 41.79 97.96

Hartman does not grade out particularly well by advanced metrics. He didn’t drive play well, though I don’t think it would be fair to judge Hartman’s overall ability to drive play simply based on last season, as he has been Corsi-For positive in the past. Additionally, Hartman’s goal based metrics are never going to grade out well in a bottom six role because, well, they don’t see as much ice time and therefore won’t score as many goals. This isn’t to say that one should simply ignore Hartman’s metrics and place value solely on intangibles, but expecting more from him would only lead to disappointment. Hartman disappointed by advanced measurements, but his play driving should not be nearly as poor in the future, which is expected of a bottom six forward with skill upside.

Three Burning Questions

Did this player live up to our expectations for this season?

Hartman played exactly how one would expect a bottom-six/fourth line forward to play. His physicality can endear him to fans, and the good thing is that this isn’t the only element to his game! Hartman’s skill was a plus that helped the Flyers with their forward depth as they moved on from the likes of Dale Weise and Jori Lehtera.

What do we expect from this player next season?

More or less the same, except a better play driver. Hartman’s highest point total in a season is 31, and assuming he plays third or fourth line minutes for the majority of the season, he can certainly reach that again. He should also return to his normal Corsi-For output. Hartman is not a 41.4 CF% player, he more or less hovers around break-even to above average. Hartman’s skill won’t dazzle, but he is skilled enough to stand out against third or fourth line competition, which honestly is what the Flyers really need from him. Paired with his physicality, this makes Hartman a nuisance to opposition.

What would we like to see this player improve on?

This isn’t necessarily an improvement as it is something that will come over time, but I am looking forward to seeing Hartman establish chemistry with his linemates in Philadelphia. Assuming more additions and subtractions are made to the roster, a fourth line of Hartman, Laughton, and Raffl would easily be one of the best fourth lines in hockey. All three players have skill upside, and they would easily dominate in their limited minutes. This is depth that I would love to see the Flyers utilize.

To wrap up

Hartman is a pending RFA and the Flyers will likely re-sign him. As I had mentioned him earlier, Wayne Simmonds is also a pending free agent, though unrestricted. By Evolving Wild’s model, Simmonds is projected to get $5 million over five years, and Hartman is projected at $2.5 million over two years. If Simmonds is in a state of decline that we witnessed this season, then the Hartman-Simmonds trade will look very good for Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers, even if Simmonds doesn’t quite reach that contract due to his poor form with Nashville. I would expect Hartman to receive a short term deal at roughly the 2.5 mil value or less, which makes sense for a skilled bottom six forward.

(All advanced statistics courtesy of Corsica Hockey)