2008-09: Eric Hartzell played 46 games in his second season with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. He was 20-22-2 with 1 shutout and had a 3.28 goals against and .900 save percentage. The Stampede finished fourth in the West Conference and lost to Lincoln in the playoffs. Hartzell was 0-2 in two playoff games with a 7.39 goals against and .786 save percentage. In February he committed to playing college hockey at Quinnipiac in 2009-10.
2009-10: Hartzell appeared in six games for Quinnipiac as a freshman. With sophomore Dan Clarke playing in 34 of 40 games, Hartzell was 4-2 with a 2.61 goals against and .894 save percentage. He stopped 20 shots in a 5-0 win over Robert Morris in October in his second college start. The Bobcats finished seventh in ECAC Hockey and lost to Union in a three-game quarterfinal series after winning the first game of the series in five overtimes.
2010-11: Hartzell shared the goaltending duties with Clarke in his sophomore season; appearing in 28 games. He finished the year 12-7-6 with 3 shutouts and had a 2.22 goals against and .927 save percentage. Quinnipiac finished tied with Clarkson for seventh place in ECAC Hockey. The Bobcats defeated Brown in the first round before falling to Cornell, 3-2, in overtime in the decisive third game of their quarterfinal series. Hartzell started 3 of 5 playoff games and stopped 29 of 32 shots in the overtime loss to Cornell.
2011-12: Hartzell played in 30 games for Quinnipiac as a junior. He was 12-11-6 with 1 shutout and had a 2.18 goals against and .913 save percentage. The Bobcats tied Colgate for fourth place in ECAC Hockey and lost to the Raiders in a three-game quarterfinal series.
2012-13: Hartzell attended the Flyers’ prospect camp in the summer before returning to Quinnipiac for his senior season. Appearing in 42 of 43 games for the Bobcats, he was named ECAC Hockey’s Player of the Year and received the Ken Dryden award as the league’s top goalie. Hartzell finished 30-7-5 with 5 shutouts and had a 1.57 goals against and .933 save percentage. Quinnipiac finished first in ECAC Hockey in the regular season and, after an upset loss to Brown in the conference semifinals, defeated Yale, 3-0, in the league’s third place game. The Bobcats swept Canisius and Union in the NCAA East Regional to reach the Frozen Four. After defeating St. Cloud State, 4-1, Quinnipiac lost to Yale, 4-0 in the championship game. Hartzell was signed to an entry-level contract by Pittsburgh in April and in July of 2013 received a two-year contract with the Penguins.
2013-14: Hartzell split his first pro season between the AHL and ECHL — making his pro debut with ECHL Reading before making two starts at the end of November with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins — and shuttled between the two clubs for the rest of the season. In 25 AHL games he was 10-8-1 with three shutouts and had a 2.48 goals against and .902 save percentage. The Penguins finished second in the East Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals. Hartzell did not appear in any playoff games. In 14 ECHL games with Wheeling he was 8-5-1 with one shutout and had a 3.13 goals against and .900 save percentage. The Nailers were second in the Atlantic Division and reached the second round. Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Mike Condon started all 10 playoff games for the Nailers.
Hartzell is a technically sound goaltender with a terrific glove. His large frame allows him to effectively economize his movements. Hartzell possesses very good reflexes, although he’s not overly quick in his lateral movements. He has the ability to control rebounds and second and third chances and is a confident, consistent goaltender. He has the ability to win games for his team and has shown that he can make the necessary saves at crucial times. Hartzell is methodical and shows attention to detail. He is outstanding in his play down low and he covers his angles quite well. His reads and ability to track plays are also very good.
Hartzell attended his second training camp with the Penguins before being assigned to Pittsburgh AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and was subsequently loaned to the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers. The third of three talented Pittsburgh goalies at the minor level, he has played well when called upon at either the AHL or ECHL levels. While it is difficult to gauge Hartzell's ceiling as a prospect until he plays consistently at the AHL level, his skill set suggests that at the minimum he can be a reliable NHL backup one day.