The first round of the 2012 NHL Draft is well underway in Pittsburgh on Friday night. The San Jose Sharks are looking to rebuild after a disappointing 2011-12 NHL season that saw them nearly collapse in the second half and get bounced out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round. In their first big step toward building the team for the future this offseason, the Sharks have selected center Tomas Hertl as the No. 17 overall pick in the draft.
Hertl currently plays in the Czech League. Matt Wagner of SB Nation has this to say about the player:
Born in Prague, Hertl was ranked as the fifth overall European skater by NHL Central Scouting, and ranked 19th overall by TSN in their June 2012 draft rankings.
At 6'2" and 198 pounds, Hertl is expected to develop into a strong power forward, and has already shown he is willing to drive to the net and create offense in international play. Scoring three goals and two assists in six games with Czech team that advanced to the quarterfinals, Hertl was a player that many felt upped his game on the big stage. Considered an average playmaker, his calling card is a powerful, accurate shot he's willing to unleash at any opportunity.
The Sharks will hope that Hertl is able to make an impact for the team in the next few years.