The TWS graduate and Boston College sophomore signed with the Chicago Blackhawks on March 30th.
Mike Hardman TWS Class of 2017, just signed an entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. After a less than stellar first year under coaches Jarrett Sampson and Brian Troy, Hardman dug deep, grew three inches, and gained 15 pounds to come back to Winchendon for his senior year and bring up his numbers to 54 points (24-30-54) in 28 matches. Over at BC, Mike played forward for the Eagles in 49 games, scoring 20 goals, and 18 assists. And, there was that time he was at the Bruins’ Development Camp…
How does a student-athlete grow? We sat down with varsity hockey coach Brian Troy and asked him to reflect on Mike’s experiences to date.
On having a player join the NHL: “He is my first player to turn pro in the US. We have Eemili Jeskanen playing professionally in Finland right now; this is a really exciting time in Winchendon School hockey.”
Mike went undrafted, how did he end up in the NHL? “Mikey has had a number of conversations with pro teams after his time at Bruins’ development camp and during his year in the BCHL before heading to Boston College.”
When did you know he was special? “I knew Michael had something extra in the fall of his last year here. I went to a game of his during the state tournament and he played so well that Jarrett Sampson, and I knew he was going on to do amazing things. We had no clue it was going to be this amazing, but we knew he had the drive to get there. “
As his coach, how do you feel? “I couldn’t be more proud of this kid! He has proven time and time again to not count him out of anything. He has earned every opportunity he has received and ran with it. I have to credit his parents Janine and Mike for raising such an incredible kid. “
Any last thoughts? “Michael and I catch up almost on a weekly basis just because he wants to know what is going on at Winchendon and how everyone is doing. He truly is a Wapiti, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he came back to coach here when his playing days are done.”