The Minnesota Wild are reportedly nearing a contract extension with grit and grind forward Ryan Hartman, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic.
Hearing the #mnwild are closing in on a contract extension for pending restricted free agent Ryan Hartman.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) April 22, 2021
Currently in the final year of a two-year deal that holds a $1.9-million AAV, Hartman has provided the Wild with some depth at forward. The signing shouldn’t have any great impact on the plans for the expansion draft but does give the team the required number of players that can be exposed, as long as someone agrees to waive their no-movement clause.
No details as to what the contract may be, but more information is likely to come.
Hartman was originally drafted 30th overall in the 2013 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks and has seen his fair share of teams. After playing two seasons with Chicago, he has also seen time with the Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, and technically the Dallas Stars (he was traded for Tyler Pitlick in the offseason, and the Stars didn’t tender Hartman a qualifying offer as an RFA).
Hartman has been a utility player for coach Dean Evason this season. Typically a winger, Hartman has spent time at center and has been a fixture in the bottom-six group. With six goals and twelve assists, Hartman’s pace would be a career-high over a full 82-game season, easily eclipsing his previous high of 31 points over 76 games way back in the 2016-17 season with Chicago.
#mnwild center/penalty killer Ryan Hartman has agreed to 3-year, $5.1 million extension ($1.7M AAV).— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) April 22, 2021
Team-friendly contract for the gritty #blackhawks first-rounder
$1 million per less than market @EvolvingWild pegged, but he gets security; Wild probably doesn’t QO him at $2.7 https://t.co/iX0A111mGl
According to Russo, the extension will be for three years, keeping him in Minnesota through the 2023-24 season, at a cap hit of $1.7-million. Hartman was slated to be a restricted free agent this summer.
At the age of 26, there really is no risk associated with this extension. You’re bringing a player that clearly wants to play for the Wild—given that he took a $200,000 pay cut—that hasn’t really found his footing in the NHL. After bouncing around different franchises, he’s found his place as a contributing depth forward in Minnesota.
This extension buys two of Hartman’s unrestricted free agency years, and since he will be just 29 years of age when he hits the open market again, he’s got another chance to cash in.
It can’t really go wrong.