CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 4: Tomas Hertl #19 of Team Czech Republic skates with the puck while being defended by Peter Trska #6 of Team Slovakia during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Fifth Place game at the Scotiabank Saddledome on January 4, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Team Czech Republic defeated Team Slovakia 5-2. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #24 Draft Prospect - Tomas Hertl
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Center / Kelowna Rockets
Nov 12 1993
|2011/12 - Slavia Praha (Czech)
|2011/12 - Playoffs||12||3||0
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team|
|Czech Extraliga Rookie of the Year|
|2009/10||Czech U18 Champion|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)
I already know what his nickname will be in the NHL
Summarized Scouting Report
Hertl has a good blend of size and skating ability ... plays a tenacious style ... brings good size ... displays some grit ... willingness to finish checks ... doubles as a crafty goal-scorer and generous playmaker ... soft hands ... able to hold the puck and make a play ... exhibits excellent puck protection skills ... has good puck instincts ... very smart and skilled ... patient ... good vision ... competitive ...
His feet are questionable ... not very good on his edges ... can trail the play due to lack of top-end speed
Top nine forward
Tomáš Hertl goal Czech Republic - USA WJC 2012 (via CZHokej)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
Hertl is a solid all-round forward, but the Wild have enough of that in the prospect pool.
Hertl isn't a flashy prospect. He doesn't skate down the ice in a single flash nor does he have soft and dynamic hands.What Hertl DOES bring is size, skill, and just solid all-around game.
He may not be the sexiest pick, but if you are picking near the later part of the first round, Hertl can add great value to anyone's prospect pool.
He protects the puck well, has offensive skills and stick skills, is always active, and isn't afraid of using his size to win puck battles.
To me, he is a safe pick with decent offensive upside. He is a lock to represent his country for two more years, and will have a high chance to serve as captain for a quickly improving Czech Republic junior program (with recent notables such as Dmitri Jaskins and Radek Faksa).
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor