Ryan Hartman has been a sublime contributor for the Minnesota Wild this season. Inexplicably leading the team in both goals and points through 14 games, the man that took a cut in salary because he felt that he belonged in this organization and just wanted some stability after being on his fourth organization at 25 years old, is getting on the score sheet. But he isn’t just supplying the offense with his shot, but he can make some damn plays as well and it wasn’t more obvious when he earned three assists on Saturday against the Seattle Kraken, providing the puck to Rem Pitlick, for the youngster to get his first career hat trick.
“I just want to say again, Hartzy, like he’s had an assist on all three of them,” Pitlick told Kevin Gorg on the broadcast after the game, repeating the praises of his linemate. “The plays that he made—I think the last two he intercepted both of those pucks. Like, wow, that’s all I can say.
“[Hartman] makes it really easy. It’s hard to put into words, ever since I got here, I just felt a certain energy. There’s just so much movement and timing, it’s hard to explain, it’s pretty subtle. ...Great player, he’s great with the puck and he’s great without the puck, and obviously that makes it easier on me. I think it showed tonight, that he was just giving me pucks and I didn’t really have to do much.”
Yeah, Pitlick didn’t really need to do much except convert on breakaways.
Not taking anything away from a special night and a special game for the 24-year-old forward the Wild claimed on waivers earlier this season, but you can see that Hartman did a lot of the work and he was rightfully praised for it by the goalscorer.
Pitlick has had a little bit of an interesting year. The Nashville Predators prospect that just wasn’t in their plans apparently, was probably destined to come back to Minnesota. Not only has he scored some goals in his past, but as a former University of Minnesota Gopher and Shattuck St. Mary’s student, he has a home here and has been embraced by this fan base after a stuttering start to his season.
“Definitely was an interesting night,” Pitlick said. “I’m super grateful. It’s been a whirlwind, like I said, just coming to Minnesota. Scoring my first, and then getting three; it’s really special, it’s a big Wild superdream.”
The “superdream” has led Pitlick to appearing in five of the Wild’s 14 games this season, and after his special hat trick night, has five points. He wasn’t handed a role immediately, but has impressed enough that he is probably going to be here (and partnered with Hartman potentially) for a little while.