Few players start their NHL career off as hot as Tomas Hertl did when he debuted with the Sharks in 2013.
Over his first week in the league, Hertl scored six goals in three games, including a four-goal effort for his first NHL hat trick against the New York Rangers.
San Jose drafted him in the first round, and Hertl never has looked back since.
“I got lucky I started with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns in the same line,” Hertl said on the NHL’s Twitter account. “It was amazing to see before the game, being with these two guys in the starting lineup.”
“Standing on the blue line, I look left, Burnsy, on the right Jumbo, and it was like ‘Oh my gosh, where I am, these two guys in the lineup’ and I’m in this league.”
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Hertl was the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for that October performance in 2013, as he finished with 11 points including eight goals through his first 13 games.
The forward was an injury replacement for teammate Logan Couture in the 2020 All-Star Game, and became the first San Jose player to score four goals in the event.
Hertl suffered a torn ACL and MCL in late January and was ruled out for the remainder of the season. He and the Sharks will be looking for a bounceback season in 2020-21 after missing out on the expanded 24-team playoff coming up in August due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sharks’ Tomas Hertl describes his ‘Welcome to the NHL’ rookie moment originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area