The San Jose Sharks have signed Tomas Hertl to a four-year contract. The contract is reportedly worth $5.7 million annually. Update: Kurz corrected his tweet and pointed out that Hertl’s AAV is $5.625 million, not $5.7 million. Guess that $75,000 is going toward repainting the popcorn cart at the Tank.
Tomas Hertl’s AAV on the four year deal is $5.7 million #SJSharks— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) July 2, 2018
Hertl, who turns 25 in November, added 24 assists to 22 goals during the 2017-18 season. Currently in his prime and likely near his peak, it appears the
winger, center, winger, forward has rounded into a solid second-line player.
His even-strength scoring rate is that of a middle-six player, but his impact on shot differential suggests Hertl is perfectly capable of serving in a second-line capacity.
Hertl’s contribution to the team’s shots remained strong this season, as evidenced in both charts. This year, he improved upon his offensive-zone entries, which is important considering strong neutral zone play leads to more shots. His zone exits are still a work in progress, however, so he is best paired with other players who are adept at taking the puck over their own blue line.
Hert’s more descriptive passing profile shows a bit more of a mixed bag. Perhaps this is a result of him switching from center to wing. Centers are likely more responsible for passing and setting up other players, whereas wingers are there to shoot and clean up the proverbial garbage around the crease (loose pucks, rebounds, tips, etc.).
This graphic shows that his defensive impact regressed a bit, along with the proportion of shots he contributed to, dangerous and otherwise. Interestingly, Hertl’s rate of shots fell this season compared to last, but his individual dangerous passing rate improved upon last season’s number. Finally, he remains a solid transition-game contributor, pushing himself up into the 93rd percentile of NHL players in terms of secondary and tertiary assists and one-timer assists
The following chart clearly shows Hertl’s ability to influence dangerous shots for his team and limit dangerous shots against — essentially the name of the game.
Paired with the right teammates — likely those stronger in transition — and given the appropriate place in the lineup, Hertl is a key cog in the Sharks’ machine. Locking up a player at what should be a team-friendly deal, if reports are true, through his prime is an intelligent move for San Jose.