This scouting profile is on HC Slavia Praha Forward Tomas Hertl. He has represented his native Czech Republic at all levels and is currently playing in the top Czech league against full grown adults. He is the top Czech prospect coming out of Europe.
Centre/Right Wing / HC Slavia Praha - Czech League
November 12 1993
Hometown: Praha - Czech Republic
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Hertl had a very productive first half to the season and may be even underrated at #20 in our rankings. Playing in the Czech Extraliga on a weak team, Hertl has worked his way up the depth chart and been an effective offensive contributor for the team. Hertl has a good blend of size and skating ability and displays some grit and a willingness to finish checks. At the World Juniors, Hertl was one of the top Czech forwards and had a strong showing in the tournament. If Hertl can close out his season with continued strong play he will make a compelling case to be a Top 20 pick this summer.
Tomas Hertl is an immensely skilled pivot who currently plays in the Czech Extraliga. Blessed with nifty hands and an accurate shot, Hertl is always a threat to score or set up a teammate when he's in the offensive zone. In addition being among HC Slavia Prague's top producers, he notched five points in six games at the 2012 World Junior tournament in Calgary and Edmonton.
Hockey in the Czech Republic has been on a down swing in recent years but there are still a few names catching scout's attention and Tomas Hertl is one of them. Hertl is coming off a strong World Juniors tournament where he notched three goals and five points in six games. The Czech forward entered the tournament playing well in the Czech's top league against men where he has been showing his good playmaking abilities and puck protection skills.
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.
Tomas Hertl is one of two Czech forwards to likely go within the first round. He is a talented playmaking forward who is also good in his own end. He plays with plenty of physical edge and grit and is willing to go into the dirty areas of the ice to get the puck. He has been likened to Tomas Holmstrom in the manner in which he stands in front of the net and his ability to find the ugly goal in the crease. His offensive vision is excellent and he can check all of his options quickly before making the best play.
However his biggest weakness is his skating. If his skating was improved he would certainly reach the NHL and most likely be a top six forward. He has a lumbering skating style and he is very slow out of the gates. He also has an unfortunate tendency to attempt to do everything by himself. If he can improve his skating Tomas Hertl definitely has the playmaking potential to become a top six forward in the NHL. However he is most likely suited to a second line centre or top 4 winger.
Tomas Hertl is likely to be selected between the 18th and 25th picks. He might be tempting to the Stars at 13 but there are several centres who might catch the Dallas Stars eye between the 13th and 20th picks.