The NHL released their weekly “Three Stars” for the week ending October 13, and atop the weekly award list was San Jose’s 19-year old rookie, Tomas Hertl.
Hertl led the NHL with five goals in three games to help the Sharks (5-0-0) remain undefeated. He began the week by scoring four goals, capped by a highlight-reel, between-the-legs shot, in a 9 2 victory over the New York Rangers Oct. 8. At 19 years, 330 days, Hertl became the fourth-youngest player all-time to score four goals in an NHL game and youngest to do so since March 20, 1988, when Los Angeles’ Jimmy Carson (19 years, 254 days) tallied four times in a 9-7 triumph over theCalgary Flames. The Praha, Czech Republic, native then logged 16:37 of ice-time and three shots on goal in a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 10 and closed the week by scoring his League-leading seventh goal of the season in a 3 2 victory over the Ottawa Senators Oct. 12. Hertl, the 17th overall pick by San Jose in the 2012 NHL Draft, leads all rookies and is tied for second in the League with 7-1—8 through five games this season.
Locally, especially on social media, Hertl has been getting immense praise for his prolific scoring through the first week and a half of the young NHL season. Many Sharks’ fans are already calling for San Jose’s 2012 top draft pick to receive the Calder Trophy, awarded to the top rookie in the league at season’s end.
Hertl, playing on the Sharks top-line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, is an exceptional position to showcase his scoring ability, and the flair that instantly made him a fan favorite in San Jose, in his first NHL season.
With seven goals and an assist through his first five games, he certainly looks the part of a potential top-scoring threat in the league.
My guess, though he’ll have to wait a few months to see if he in fact earns the Calder Trophy or not, this will be just the first of many accolades the young Sharks star will receive this season.
If nothing else, he will have the adulation of the home crowd who have long waited for the Sharks to have a stick handler capable of the flashy plays we usually only see on ESPN highlight reels.