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Sharks' prospect Tomas Hertl off to strong start

The 17th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft is putting together an impressive season in the Czech Repbulic.

Bruce Bennett

San Jose Sharks blue chip prospect Tomas Hertl is raising eyebrows with his excellent start on the ice for HC Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga, according to Kevin Kurz of

Hertl, a 19-year-old from Prague, has scored a team-leading 19 points on 11 goals and 8 assists, good for 28th in the Czech Extraliga. His 11 goals rank 15th in the league.

The 17th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft is playing in his second full season in the Czech Repbulic, and his strong start is made even more encouraging because of the level of competition that it's coming against. Czech Extraliga has been refuge for several NHL players during the NHL lockout, and Hertl has posted impressive numbers against teams featuring NHL veterans such as Jaromir Jagr, Tomas Plekanec and David Krejci.

Hertl had a strong season in Czech Extraliga last year as well, scoring 25 points in 38 games.