NHL Draft Prospect Profile #25: Tomas Hertl
Drafted #17 Overall by the San Jose Sharks
Our #25 ranked prospect, Tomas Hertl, is playing for Slavia Praha HC in the Czech Extraliga. Hertl was a key member of the Czech team at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships, and he greatly outplayed his countryman and teammate Radek Faksa. Hertl was extremely impressive in the tournament with 3 goals and 2 assists in just 6 games. Hertl has long been a member of the Czech junior teams and also competed in the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championships.
Born Nov 12 1993 – Prague, Czech Republic
Height 6.02 — Weight 200 — Shoots L
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The first thing that jumps out at you when you watch Tomas Hertl, is his very unorthodox skating style. The best way to describe it is “herky-jerky”. However despite the fact that its not a pretty skating style, it is still reasonably effective. While Hertl is by no means a fast skater, he’s not a slow one either. This unorthodox stride gets him where he’s going, and his good hockey sense and instincts keep him heavily involved in the play.
Hertl is a big, strong, versatile forward. He is capable of playing both centre and wing. He has good passing skills and vision, and is more a playmaker than a scorer. He is at his best playing a puck control game. He is great at working the boards and cycling in the offensive zone. When the puck is on his stick, he effectively protects it, and then passes to an open teammate. Without the puck he is able to find open spaces and has good hockey sense and instincts. He’s not a huge hitter, but he uses his size and strength to win board battles. Hertl could use work on his shot and his release, which are below average when compared to other top prospects.
Hertl is an excellent two way player. He was also very effective on faceoffs in the World Juniors. A key penalty killer on the squad, he shows good positioning and instincts in the defensive zone. He is a conscientious backchecker who uses his size, strength and active stick to keep defenders to the outside. Hertl certainly projects to have good defensive skills.
Hertl has the potential to be a top 6 centre in the NHL. He’ll be a bit of a project as his skating and his shot need a little bit of work, but his other skills are well developped. We would compare Hertl’s potential to become a player similar to Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes.
… and thats the Last Word.