Does Tomas Hertl make more sense to knights than Jack Eichel?
The Vegas Knights have been linked with Jack Eichel for quite some time now. However, it has been reported that the San Jose Sharks could be the Tomas Hertl Mall. If so, does it make more sense to the Knights than Jack Eichel?
The Vegas Golden Knights were considered the favorites to land Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabers. Going through Vegas Twitter and chatting with several people who are Knights fans, it was interesting to hear their views on the possibility of trading for Eichel. There have been a lot of mixed opinions on whether or not the Knights should pull the trigger for the center of the star. On top of that, the people who are against trading for Eichel have a different name that interests them: Tomas Hertl.
Tomas Hertl vs. Jack Eichel
The Knights have been linked with star center Jack Eichel for the past two weeks, but nothing has happened yet. With nothing happening on that front yet, people are rather wondering whether or not Eichel is even the right fit for the Knights. After speaking to several people to get their thoughts, there is one name that Knights fans seem to want more: Tomas Hertl.
It has been reported by several people that the San Jose Sharks are potentially buying their star center Tomas Hertl on this trade deadline. Since he’s in his contract year, they’ll likely be looking to capitalize on his efforts in order to get contracted players and / or picks.
Now, getting either of these players, I’ll say it’s a huge win. Both of these players are well respected by the league for their talents, but the question must be asked: Does Tomas Hertl make more sense to the Knights than Jack Eichel?
Fit with the Knights of Tomas Hertl
Now, before I go too deep in the article, I will say that I am not going to delve too much into Jack Eichel in this article. If you are interested in reading my thoughts and opinions on Jack Eichel possibly becoming a knight, I will have marked it here. However, in this article I want to touch on Tomas Hertl and what he offers on Jack Eichel. So that being said, let’s go.
Hertl has been an integral part of the Sharks’ organization since joining the league in the 2013-14 season. After being the 17th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, he got noticed almost immediately. After having had an excellent rookie season in 37 games, he ended up getting votes for the Calder Trophy. He did not win, however.
In the 37 games he played, he scored 15 goals, 10 assists, for a total of 25 points. Considering it was his rookie season, I would consider it pretty good. He lacked defensive numbers, however, but it is expected. Defensively, he had just 13 blocks, 39 hits and 18 takeaways. Either way, this was just the start of Hertl’s formidable career so far.
Hertl from that point on has really established himself as a formidable all-rounder. Every year, it still posts good numbers and is considered one of the best centers in hockey. Since his rookie season, he has played 474 career games with the Sharks. In those 474 games, he scored 139 goals and 163 assists for a total of 302 points.
Since the Knights need healthy players, getting a production like Hertl might be more beneficial for the Knights considering this season.
Hertl contract versus Eichel contract
In my opinion, the biggest downside to trading for Eichel is simply the fact that his contract is quite large. Eichel has four more years on his 8-year / $ 80 million contract he signed in 2017. In each of those four seasons he is set to earn $ 10,000,000 from the Knights, which, on a budget, is not exactly ideal. This is where the argument for Hertl comes in.
Looking at Eichel’s contract versus Hertl’s contract, it’s a completely different situation. Eichel is still on a long-term contract and the Knights would have control over him for the next four seasons. Depending on how you look at it, it can be a good thing or a bad thing, but then you look at Tomas Hertl.
Tomas Hertl is in his year of contract, which is why the Sharks are looking to trade him, understandably. Hertl signed his big contract in 2018, leaving him looking to earn another handsome salary after the end of this season. In the meantime, it has yet to happen. But not having to accept such a large contract, if one does, is a lot easier to manage than calling on Eichel.
Short term or long term
I kind of touched on this above, but if there’s one thing you need to understand when debating these two players, it’s their contracts. Hertl, is currently 27 years old and is on his one year contract. On the other hand, if you look at Eichel, not only are Eichel two years younger than Hertl, but they would have more control over him and just become a better player.
If they traded for Hertl, they would give up a few assets and it’s possible the Knights might not even be able to sign him again. I mean, I doubt they would trade for a player if they knew they couldn’t get an expansion to work, but it’s still something to consider. Then you watch Eichel and you’re sure they should give up more, but Eichel would not only give them an elite cross, but he would help keep their Stanley Cup window open for a longer period of time.
The question to ask is therefore: is it worth it? You need to determine before you make any move you make to help your team. Eichel gives them an extended future of wins, but will keep their wages tight at least for the next two seasons. Hertl, on the other hand, would help them compete as their stars recover from injuries, and it would give them a boost during the playoffs.