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NHL Nashville PredatorsPhiladelphia Flyers

Rant Sports Top 100 Players In The NHL: No. 65 Scott Hartnell

 

Scott

Dale Zanine – USA Today Sports

Scott Hartnell, the Nashville Predators 1st round draft selection (6th overall) in the 2000 draft has turned out to be a villain around the NHL, and a hero for the Philadelphia Flyers.

It didn’t take long for Hartnell to come into his own, when he recorded 41 points in his sophomore season with the Predators. That season it also became apparent that he was going to be an agitator and a guy that teams wouldn’t like to play against as he sat in the sin bin for a total of 111 minutes. Over the next five seasons Hartnell proved to be a consistent asset in the lineup, where he would reign in anywhere from 33 to 48 points.

The 2008-2009 campaign is really when Hartnell made the jump from serviceable second line winger, to top-notch second liner, and acceptable first line winger. The Flyers ended up finishing that season 5th in the Eastern conference with 99 points, they can thank Hartnell and his 30 goal, 30 assist season in which he didn’t miss a single game.

The next two seasons Hartnell remained a constant in the lineup, missing just one game over the span. His point total did dip back into the 40s, but he was still providing clutch goals and energy in the locker room. Then, in 2011-2012 he had his career-year. His 67 point season in which he potted 37 goals had the opposition groaning every time Hartnell and his flowing, curly-red ‘locks of doom hopped over the boards and onto the ice. His 188 hits also made players think twice about engaging in a battle along the boards with him on the ice.

Hartnell is currently 30, and assuming the entire 2012-2013 season is wiped out, he will be 31 at the beginning of the following season. His young prowess may be leaving his body, but Hartnell will look to help lead the Flyers to a Stanley Cup in the coming years with his aggressive style of play, and consistency to stay healthy.

Follow Danny Shirey on Twitter@_DSHY