The Minnesota Wild have come to terms on a new deal with valued two-way forward Ryan Hartman. The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports that Hartman has inked a three-year, $5.1MM deal to remain with the Wild. Hartman had been scheduled for restricted free agency this summer, but has instead settled on a long-term deal with an AAV that comes in below his $1.9MM qualifying offer, offering the Wild some savings and Hartman some security.
Security is important to Hartman, too. The 2013 first-round pick is already on his fifth NHL teams, with previous stops in Chicago, Nashville, and Philadelphia and briefly Dallas as well. When the Stars opted not to qualify him in the 2019 off-season, it gave Hartman the ability to finally seek a long-term home and he chose Minnesota. After previously never spending more than one full season with any NHL team, Hartman is already in his second season with Minnesota and now locked in through the 2023-24.
That is, if he survives this summer’s Expansion Draft. Although Hartman has bounced around early in his pro career, he has established himself as good two-way forward whose ability to play any forward position is the valuable versatility that many teams seek in their bottom-six. Hartman has also shown 30+ point upside and contributes to both special teams units. While Minnesota has a number of potential high-value players who could be available to the Seattle Kraken – in fact, they are in one of the tougher spots of any team in the league – Hartman becomes more attractive to the expansion team as an affordable, multi-year contract as opposed to a pending RFA. As the Wild try to finagle their way out of a difficult expansion spot, Hartman could end up exposed and selected by Seattle or, sadly, traded yet again. However, the hope for both sides is surely that their relationship can continue beyond the draft.