Whether it is NHL, NFL, or MLB, I get absorbed in Entry drafts. I don’t exactly know what it is about them, but I just love scouting out potential players and predicting where they will end up being drafted. The entire reason that I am here at In Lou We Trust is because I was doing research on last year’s NHL Entry draft (Adam Larsson specifically) and came across the site. Until now I haven’t paid too much attention to the majority of this year’s players due to our deep playoff run, but in the last few days I have been scouring NHL.com and thehockeywriters.com amongst other websites, reading up on the prospects that may be drafted in the first few rounds.
It is important to remember that we are not drafting for immediate impact, but instead for a few years down the line. Larsson played from the get-go last season, but that is unlikely with this year's pick. This player will take some time to develop, and hopefully will be a game-changing player.
Who is Tomáš Hertl?
Weight: 200 lbs
Hertl played in the Czech Extraliga the last two seasons, where he scored 14 goals, 27 assists for 41 points in 2010-11 and 12 goals, 13 assists for 25 points in 2011-12. Hertl shined at the Word Junior Championship U20, were he scored 3 goals and 2 assists in 6 games. He also stood out at the NHL Draft Combine where he tied for 1st in the VO2 MAX Testing and placed second in the Hand-Eye Coordinatoin Test.
What Scouts have said about Tomáš Hertl
Jiří Fischer, Director of Player Development for the Detroit Red Wings, and was Assistant Coach for the Czech Republic during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships
Tomas has had a fantastic season thus far. Actually, last year he was the top scorer in the Czech Junior League. This year he’s the top scoring junior player in the Czech Extraliga. In fact, he had just as many points as all other junior players combined at one point before sustaining a shoulder injury. At this tournament, in the tough games where the team was losing focus here and there, he continued to do all the little things well. He’s strong on the puck down low and certainly his skill level and his size; the way he can withstand contact and still hold onto the puck and make plays is impressive. He sees the ice so well. I’m really excited about his future.
Aaron Vickers, Managing Editor - Future Considerations
It’s not hard to see what is immediately impressive with Hertl. He has a big frame and when he isn’t being physically punishing, uses it well to benefit his offensive game. What jumps out after is equally as exciting. Hertl has good vision and a soft touch with the puck. These qualities make the Czech more of a playmaker then a finisher who could develop into a power winger should he address his lack of acceleration.
Ross MacLean, Head Scout - International Scouting Services
"Tomas Hertl has been a very under the radar prospect but brings great skill and a versatile mind to his team. He has the ability to really stand out, even on rosters with higher profile players. He compliments a variety of skill types and can really amplify the availability of space for his teammates. He has developed steadily over the course of the past few seasons and could still improve his offensive output."
A Little Video
Here is a video of Hertl scoring against the United States in the WJC U20. He intercepts a pass, and drives to the net.
Here is Hertl scoring against Denmark in the WJC U20. He puts home a deflection down low. This is an example of his great hands down low.
An opinions of sorts
When scouting players, there are some that you fall in love with. Tomáš Hertl is one of those players. Hertl is one of the top play-making centers in this draft class. He isn’t one of the best at scoring goals, but he has great vision on the ice and hockey sense.
When looking at his strengths listed at thehockeywriters.com, there is a certain player that comes to mind. That would be Patrik Elias. Patrik is known for his play-making abilities, and his creativity on the ice. Hertl seems to emulate that style of play by Elias.
Hertl has good size at 6'2", and he uses that size as he is superb at hanging onto the puck. He is also a good fore-checker. He is also a good two-way player, although reports say that he can improve upon it. The knock against him though is that he isn’t that great of a skater. He has an unorthodox skating style, and he is not that fast. The bright side is that his skating can be improved upon.
Herl is clearly a special player. He is ranked as the 5th best European skater by NHL Central Scouting. Most scouts predict he will be drafted in the mid to late first round. That should be beginning by the 20th overall pick. It is unlikely the Devils will be able to draft Hertl unless they trade up to do so. I'm not sure what our history of trading up to draft players is, but if Lou and David Conte think that Hertl is our guy, they might pull the trigger on a deal to draft him
Having read this, what is your impression of Tomáš Hertl? What do you like/dislike about him? Would you like for the Devils to draft him in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft? Thank you for reading.