With the pre and post-NHL Draft activities, many draft eligible players end their season with a jam-packed summer.
For 2013 draft eligible Ryan Hartman, this summer has been just as busy as players who heard their name called in Pittsburgh.
His summer itinerary is filled with camping.
Hartman began his camp tour two weeks ago in the small town of Nisswa, Minn. at his advisor’s world famous Minnesota Hockey Camps. Hartman has been training daily at the camp for the last two weeks with college and major junior players such as Lukas Sutter and former NTDP teammate Pat Sieloff.
This is the second summer Hartman has attended the event, a camp in which he believes paid major dividends last season. The camp consists of an early morning lift, two high intensity skates, and a hockey-based dry-land workout on a daily basis.
“When I was younger, I would go down to the beach and relax all summer, but as the competition got tougher and faster I knew I had to start doing something,” said Hartman who has put on 10 pounds since the season ended. “I went last year [to camp] for three weeks straight and it really got me in shape for the season.”
Hartman will shift gears beginning Saturday morning with USA Hockey’s Junior Evaluation Camp getting underway in Lake Placid, N.Y. He is one of just two players who were invited to the Evaluation Camp who have yet to enter their draft year.
Despite being the second youngest player at the grueling 8-day camp, Hartman has high expectations for himself.
“I’m there to make the team and I’m going to do whatever it takes to earn my spot,” he said. “I’m not nervous at all heading into this camp; I’m feeling really confident in the way I’m playing right now.”
How will Hartman follow up the Junior Evaluation Camp? The West Dundee, Ill. native plans to return to Minnesota for another week of training to match his three weeks at the camp last summer. Shortly thereafter, focus will be shifted towards Plymouth Whalers’ main camp beginning on Aug. 25.
Hartman joins a Plymouth team that features four NHL first round draft picks at forward. Much like his outlook on the Evaluation Camp, Hartman has sky high expectations for himself.
“I want to produce right away, get in there and show everyone what I have, and why I should be projected high [in the 2013 NHL draft],” Hartman said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get the win and I hope to get the Memorial Cup this year.”
Hartman originally was not Plymouth bound after committing to Miami University and attempted to accelerate through his junior school year at his final year at the NTDP. The attempt to complete nine classes in addition to balancing demands of hockey ultimately failed right before the U18 World Championship.
After the decision to take a normal junior year workload, Hartman was faced with the decision on where to play hockey for his draft year. he had two opinions: play a season for the Dubuque Fighting Saints who took him in the 2010 USHL Futures Draft and go to Miami in 2013-14 or play for Plymouth who selected Hartman in the fifth round of the 2010 OHL Priority Selection.
Hartman cites conversations with Washington Capitals first round pick Tom Wilson as one of the major determining factors in playing in Plymouth.
“[Wilson] contacted me and we had a conversation about the team, the way they play, and he kind of pushed me towards [coming to Plymouth],” he admitted. “It was good to get a perspective of a player who is on the team and show me the ropes and what the team is all about with school and practice schedules.”
A hectic schedule he has no doubt prepared himself for with his plethora of summer activities.