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Sharks re-sign Tomas Hertl to 4-year deal

The young forward has impressed in his brief NHL career.

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 18: Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period in Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff
Tomas Hertl has proven to be a top-6 forward.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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.

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.

San Jose Sharks sign Tomas Hertl to 4-year contract July 2, 2018
Hertl is a top-6 forward who is likely best in a 2nd-line role

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.

Tomas Hertl signs 4-year contract with the San Jose Sharks
Hertl improved his zone exits
@shutdownline, @CJTDevil

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.

Tomas Hertl signs 4-year contract with the San Jose Sharsk
More descriptive passing stats show where he has some work to do
@shutdownline, @rk_stimp

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.

Tomas Hertl signs a 4-year contract with the San Jose Sharks July 2, 2018
Hertl is good at keeping the puck away from where it isn’t supposed to be and vice versa

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.