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Plymouth Whalers Sign 17-year-old Forward Ryan Hartman

Forward was taken in the fifth round of the 2010 OHL Draft

Sound bytes by Pete Krupsky and www.plymouthwhalers.com

Plymouth Whalers General Manager and Head Coach Mike Vellucci announced the signing of 17-year-old center Ryan Hartman, who was originally selected by the Whalers in the fifth round (95th overall) of the 2010 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Hartman will attend the in 2012-13.

“I’m extremely happy to be here,” Hartman said.  “Plymouth is the best place for me to be, considering it’s my draft year (2012-13).  I’m looking to make the best out of it.”

“Playing in Plymouth offers Ryan the best environment to continue his hockey career at an elite level,” Vellucci said.  “He’ll also be able to maintain a commitment to education.”

Hartman – 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, from West Dundee, IL – played last season for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, where he finished second in team scoring with 16 goals with 25 assists for 41 points with 136 penalty minutes in 59 games.  He scored two goals with four assists for six points for the gold-medal winning United States team in this spring’s World U-18 Tournament.

Hartman played for the NTDP U-17 program in 2010-11, where he scored 22 goals with 12 assists for 34 points and 88 PIM’s in 52 games. The Whalers originally drafted Hartman out of the Chicago Mission program, where he scored 25 goals and 19 assists for 44 points and 64 PIM’s in 38 games in 2009-10.

Hartman followed the Whalers while playing in Ann Arbor last season.

“I made it to ten regular season games and made most of the playoff games in Plymouth,” he said.  “I watched the team and I really liked what I saw.”

While observers consider Hartman an emerging power forward with a scorer’s touch, he patterns his game after a well-rounded player in the National Hockey League.

“I like David Backes (St. Louis Blues),” Hartman said.  “He hits hard and can bury the puck, too.  He’s an all-around power forward.”

As a late 1994 birthday, Hartman fits in well with the Whalers core group of players like Tom Wilson, Cody Payne, Matt Mistele, Danny Vanderwiel, Mitch Jones and Mitchell Dempsey.

AUDIO: Listen to Ryan Hartman.

NEXT UP: The Whalers will be hosting their annual Rookie Orientation on May 19-20 at Compuware Arena.  Draft choices from 2011 and 2012 and selected free agents will undergo physical testing, see the city of Plymouth and the Plymouth-Canton Education Park and skate in a scrimmage.

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