Tomas Hertl just wants to have fun.
The San Jose Sharks rookie forward rose to national fame when he scored four goals against the New York Rangers back in October and continued his stellar play until he underwent major knee surgery in December, which sidelined him until the end of the regular season.
Despite his status as a premier rookie, Hertl is as humble as it comes. The youthful exuberance and constant smiling we see from him on the ice also extends off it, as evidenced in a story from the Mark Purdy of The Mercury News.
Hertl and fellow Sharks rookie Matt Nieto have been roommates when the team travels on the road this season. Nieto recently took Hertl to popular restaurant/arcade destination Dave & Busters for a relaxing night out. Hertl was so amazed by the arcade that he went back to have even more fun.
“From the upper deck at SAP Center, you’d never guess that Hertl and Nieto are barely out of their teens from the way they skate and shoot and hit,” Purdy writes. “But make no mistake. Up close, they are fresh-faced lads. They room together on the road. Hertl has learned that Nieto loves California culture. Nieto has learned that Hertl likes animated films.
“In fact, during a road trip to Anaheim earlier this month, those elements all combined. Nieto introduced Hertl to a 20-something’s idea of dining heaven — the Dave & Buster’s chain that features large-screen televisions and arcade games. They played a few of them and then watched sports on TV while eating. Hertl was captivated.”
“‘He didn’t know you can play the games and get prizes, so he went back by himself,” Nieto said. “Next time I came back to the hotel room, he had three of those stuffed characters from ‘Despicable Me’ on his bed.’ He was like a big kid.'”
Hertl posted a photo of his winnings to his Facebook page. By the looks of it, he’s collected characters from animated movies/TV series such as “Despicable Me,” “Monsters Inc.,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
[tweet https://twitter.com/matt_nieto/statuses/453762646836142080 align=”center”]
Hertl’s playoff career is off to a great start. He tallied a goal and an assist over the Sharks’ first two games of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Czech forward also became the first player in team history to record a multipoint game in his postseason debut.
In a world where athletes are so egotistical, it’s nice to see a talented, successful young player like Hertl really enjoy the experience of being an NHLer.
His quote “fun must be always” is a pretty good way to live life.
Photo via Facebook