Scott Hartnell was born April 18, 1982 in Lloydminster, Alberta. The first round, sixth overall selection of the Nashville Predators in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Hartnell is a graduate of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders.
A highly touted player coming out of junior, Hartnell played three seasons with Prince Albert, finishing his career with 127 points (37-89-127) in 128 games before making his NHL debut with the Predators in 2000-01. In his first ever NHL training camp, Hartnell impressed the Nashville coaching staff enough to earn a roster spot right out of junior. After a rookie season that saw the Lloydminster native finish with 16 points (2-14-16) in 75 games.
In 2001-02, Hartnell broke out offensively, more than doubling his offensive totals from his rookie season. In 75 games, he tallied 41 points (14-27-41) to go along with 111 PIM and was invited to play for Team Canada at the 2002 World Championships in Sweden (did not participate due to injury). Coming off a strong sophomore season, Hartnell's point total fell to 34 points in 2002-03 (12-22-34), although he remained an offensive threat for the young squad, finishing the year with over 200 shots on net.
Injuries limited the former Prince Albert Raider in 2003-04 to a mere 59 games, yet was a key contributor in Nashville's first post season appearance.
Over the next few seasons Hartnell would become a regular in the Predators line up. He was one of only four Predators to have appeared in all 15 playoff games in franchise history following the 2006-07 playoffs.
In the summer of 2007, Hartnell's stint with his first professional NHL club came to an end as he signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Hartnell played seven seasons in Philadelphia where he became a fan favourite and an all-star. His most successful year came during the 2011-12 season where he scored 37 goals and 67 points in 82 games.
In a salary cap-saving deal, Philadelphia traded Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for R. J. Umberger and a fourth round draft pick on June 23, 2014. Hartnell would appear in 77 games for the Blue Jackets during the 2014-15 season, producing the second-highest goal output of his career with 28. He would follow that up with a 23 goal campaign in 2015-16.