NHL Draft 2012: San Jose Sharks Select Tomas Hertl with 17th Overall Pick
Hertl is an 18-year-old, 6'2", 198 pound center drafted from the team Slavia Praha in the Czech Extraliga league.
Hertl posted 12 goals, 13 assists and 22 penalty minutes in 38 games during the 2011-12 season.
The center gives the Sharks more strength down the middle, but he probably won't be ready for a couple of seasons. He'll turn 19 early in the 2012-13 season, so he may need more conditioning and experience before joining the talented Sharks forward corps.
The Sharks are known for turning a lot of centers into wingers (Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture) if the need arises. So it's sort of uncertain the position he'll play once he reaches the NHL.
According to Elite Prospects, Hertl is a highly skilled offensive player with good hockey sense. He has great puck control, passes the puck well and has a decent shot. But his one drawback is he's not the best skater.
To me, he sounds like a watered down Joe Thornton. He probably won't be as skilled, but he sounds like he's a good playmaker.
It will be interesting to see him play on a line with Couture and maybe Pavelski if he develops well.
It seems like a good pick, and let's keep our fingers crossed that Hertl turns into the player the Sharkies were looking for.
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