22-Year-Old Left Wing – San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Sharks in June 2016.
Hertl scored for the second straight game Thursday in a road loss to the Penguins.
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Tomas Hertl: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After an age-19 rookie season that had him looking like a star in the making, but was shortened by a knee injury, Hertl put in a full 82 last year, but the results were less than impressive. Last year's flash was gone -- his goal-scoring dropped and he barely increased his point total from the season before despite playing more than twice as many games, and he was ultimately finally moved to center and placed on the fourth line. But that's not the young Czech's destiny. He's still only 21 years old -- he'll turn 22 during the season -- and following the sophomore slump, look for Hertl to bust out in Year 3 and give the Sharks a reason to move him up in the pecking order. The team has more needs at wing than at center, and Hertl should win his way into a top-six role while again showing the skills that made him the Sharks' first-round pick in 2012.
The Dave and Busters-loving Czech phenom should play his first full season this year, and expectations are sky-high. A knee injury limited Hertl to 37 regular-season games in 2013-14, but he tallied 15 goals -- including a show-stopping four-goal night that included a between-the-legs-goal -- and 10 assists. Hertl shows all the signs of being a budding star, and there's little doubt that his numbers should improve this year. But by how much? Hertl should get solid playing time and increased responsibility on the power play, both of which should boost his offensive production this season. But that four-goal performance will drive him higher on cheat sheets than expected, and you don't want to get caught overpaying for what is really still somewhat of an unproven commodity. Hertl should improve and has enormous upside, but there's always a risk of a sophomore slump. He's a sexy pick with huge upside, especially when riding shotgun beside San Jose's stars. Just know what you're getting into.
Hertl is the most promising of the incoming San Jose prospects. He was a standout at their summer prospects camp and is expected to compete for a spot on the roster this season. The 17th overall selection in the 2012 draft is the odds-on favorite to fill the vacancy in the Sharks line up created by the departure of T.J. Galiardi and Martin Havlatís injury status. Hertl notched 30 points in 43 for Slavia Praha in the Czech League last year and is clearly a scoring talent with good hands and an even better hockey sense. His fantasy value is unknown as he hasnít competed at the NHL level before and he will carry both the rookie and ice size adjustment periods on his back this year. Itís probably best to steer clear of him in single-year leagues until you see if heís playing, where heís playing and what kind of ice time heíll be seeing in that role. He is of interest in deep keeper leagues, though -- he could be a future star. UPDATE: Hertl is all but a lock to play on one of the top two lines in San Jose opening day. He's young and untested, but in deeper formats he may be worth a second look for sleeper status. All signs are that he's got the scoring touch and he'll be playing on a line that should produce solid fantasy numbers.
Hertl is a talent, but he doesnít really get the respect heís due. Drafted 17th overall this past June, he has great hands, better vision and even better set-up skills and he thinks the game like a veteran. His skating needs work, but that can come. He played against men in the top Czech league last season and excelled with 25 points in 38 games (fourth in team scoring). Heís going to have an underrated NHL (and fantasy) career, not unlike his fellow countryman, Martin Erat. Thereís real fantasy value in that.