PITTSBURGH The San Jose Sharks drafted center Tomas Hertl with the 17th overall pick on Friday in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center.
A native of the Czech Republic, Hertl was ranked fifth among European skaters eligible for the draft by NHL Central Scouting. That was down slightly from his midterm ranking (third).
According to The Hockey News, ice awareness and his ability to make plays are Hertls strongest suits.
Hertl recorded 25 points (12g, 13a) in 38 games for Slavia Praha during the 2011-12 season, with a 9 rating and 22 penalty minutes. He spent the majority of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons playing for Slavia Prahas junior squad, recording 38 points (12g, 26a) in 42 games during the 2009-10 season and 41 points (14g, 27a) in 33 games in 2010-11.
He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2012 World Junior Championships, tying for the lead with five points (3g, 2a) in six games.
It was just the second time in the last five years the Sharks used their first round pick. The only other player chosen in the first round in that span is forward Charlie Coyle in 2010, who was traded to the Minnesota Wild this time last year as part of the deal for defenseman Brent Burns.
The Sharks have five picks remaining in rounds two through seven on Saturday one each in the second, fifth and sixth rounds, and two in the seventh.
Current first round picks on the Sharks roster that were drafted by the club include Patrick Marleau, Brad Stuart and Logan Couture.