Tomas Hertl might not carry quite as much cache as Jack Eichel, but you better believe a lot of teams are monitoring the star center’s situation with the San Jose Sharks.
The 27-year-old center apparently wants out of San Jose. The Sharks once looked like a team built to compete for a while, but poor asset management and monster contracts handed out to players that have underperformed ultimately have buried them in the basement.
Perhaps they will turn things around sooner than later, but Hertl apparently can’t reach an agreement on a new deal with the Sharks, and doesn’t seem keen on hanging around for a rebuild.
That has made him a fascinating trade target. And though the Sharks don’t appear fully intent on trading him, they very likely would listen on him. The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz shared the trade package he thinks it will take to pry him away from the Sharks.
“If you’re looking at this from a Sharks perspective, and assume they are sticking to their plan to compete again sooner than later, the return would have to be more than just draft picks. Along with a first-round pick, they would have to get at least one potential high-end prospect in return, too, and preferably someone who could play NHL games ahead of or along the same timeline as guys like William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau and some of the other prospects who are around 19 or 20 years old (in other words, probably two years away).”
While Kurz doesn’t cite sources there, it reads of informed speculation.
Hertl is entering the final season of a four-year deal that carries a $5.625 million annual cap hit. He does have a modified no-trade clause, and is in line for a raise on his next deal. Given the apparent asking price, one would think a team only would try trading for Hertl if they know he is willing to re-sign.
Last season, Hertl had 19 goals with 24 assists in 50 games. His best year came in 2018-19, when he scored 74 points on 35 goals and 39 assists across 77 games.