Tomas Hertl | C
Stats: 46GP, 15G, 20A, 35Pts
While Kevin Labanc may not be the goal threat the Isles are looking for, Tomas Hertl is.
Last season saw the Czech-born forward notch 35 goals and 39 helpers for a career-high 74 points. This year his stats have tumbled a bit. With 15 goals and 35 points in 46 games, he’s on pace for a 59 point season.
Assuming he holds pace and scores 25 goals, he’ll have scored 20 or more goals in four of his seven seasons in the NHL. He’s clearly not one of the premier snipers in the league, but he’s a goal threat that offers more than just being a shooter.
He’s great on the power play with eleven goals on the man advantage last year. This year he has seven points on the power play with two goals and five assists.
He plays primarily at center for the Sharks, but Hertl could be moved to the wing on a line with Mathew Barzal. Hertl could step in for faceoffs, he has a 52.4 career faceoff win percentage to Barzal’s 42.1 percent, while Barzal plays down the middle after the draw.
On his own, Hertl is certainly worth a first-round pick and more. Again, he has 70+ point potential.
He also has two more years remaining on a contract with an AAV of $5.625 million. With $5.886 million in cap space, the Isles have just enough room to squeeze him under the cap ceiling.
Hertl is a controllable asset, for this year and two more, and provides top-line production. If it costs a first-round pick so be it. It’s worth it for the Islanders to trade their first-rounder away at this point if it brings in top-line talent.