In drafting Tomas Herlt, the Sharks were looking for yet another dynamic forward who plays defense and can put some pucks in the back of the net. For the Sharks, a year of disappointment was capped off by almost being swept by the Blues, a fairly young hockey team. The Sharks, however, were just lucky to make the playoffs.
Joe Thornton, along with fellow veteran Patrick Marleau, admitted that the Sharks had some apparent holes that needed to be plugged. For one, they had a terrible penalty killing unit. This was a severe handicap as the Blues were able to take advantage of that and attack the Sharks in their weak spots.
What does drafting Tomas Hertl do for the Sharks?
Although Hertl may not be the most dynamic forward, he’s certainly a good defender. His stick pressure on the defenders of opponents is good enough to perhaps force a few turnovers. This is in no way bad for the Sharks. He also has the ability to dish off to his teammates if need be. Unfortunately, he won’t be in main rotation; he will have to do his damage with the second unit.
Hertl is proficient and a big guy who has played against professionals before. He should be set in terms of experience and should avoid rookie mistakes. As the lockout continues, he continues to work on his game and improve more. He’s a versatile guy, and he can pretty much play all forward spots.
The Sharks made a smart choice in choosing Hertl because he is efficient and he’s fundamentally sound. He may even be used in the clutch situations down the stretch as he can be used in pretty much any situation.
If Tomas Hertl can fix all these areas quickly, partially covering the Shark’s holes, they will be a better team overall, and hopefully make another rally to the playoffs.