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Tomas Hertl Offers Lineup Options Galore For VGK In All Situations

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights’ newest power forward will not be able to step on the ice to make his VGK debut for at least a few weeks. When Tomas Hertl does though, the options he presents to Bruce Cassidy are endless.

The 6’3” 215-pound Hertl is an option in multiple spots on the power play, has played significant penalty kill minutes, and can be used in both 6-on-5 situations. Plus, and maybe the most important bit of versatility he offers is that he can play center or wing, and has done a bunch of each in his career.

I always say every centerman can play winger but from winger to center is way harder. I don’t know what is the plan when everyone is healthy but I’m ready for everyone. In my 11 years, I’ve probably played half and half. -Hertl

His arrival leaves the Golden Knights with a glut of options up the middle, assuming health. Jack Eichel, William Karlsson, Chandler Stephenson, Nic Roy, Brett Howden, Michael Amadio, and now Tomas Hertl are all legitimate options to play center.

We’ve used Stephenson on the wing more than anyone so he’d probably be the natural candidate but we also used Nic Roy last year. So, I don’t have an answer for that yet but let’s get him here and then we’ll decide. -Cassidy

Hertl’s strong faceoff percentage likely gives him the upper hand on many of the other options beyond Eichel and Karlsson. Still, his advanced stats may be the ultimate tipping point that leads him to remain in the center pushing someone else to the wing in Vegas.

Per San Jose Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng, Hertl’s blocked pass rate has skyrocketed this season going from 3.58 per 60 minutes up to 4.57. That took Hertl from 93rd among all NHL forwards all the way up to 9th. In addition, his puck battle win and loose puck recovery rates rank in the top 10 as well.

His penalty kill rates are also excellent which means he should allow Cassidy to replace either Jack Eichel or Mark Stone on the PK which will not only lighten their minute load but also go back to offering Vegas an excellent post-kill line that can hop over the boards right after the penalty expires.

No matter how it all plays out, the options Hertl offers to the Golden Knights will be valuable both now and in the future. That’s something VGK fans will quickly learn to love if they haven’t already.

A lot of fans at the gala told me ‘Three days ago I hated you, now I love you.’ -Hertl

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15 Comments

  1. Bobby

    Great trade, things are looking up again.

  2. Kevin C

    Whoever coached him to be at that Gala was a smart person. Great way to break the PR ice and have the fans embrace you well before you are ice-ready. It also helped to have pics on social media … so the VGK media folks are all over this.

    It would be interesting to put some all-healthy lineups together just to see it on the page … and also how it affects the lower guys. “Who gets scratched?” is going to be just as interesting of a question

    • ailEd

      It’s pretty obvious the inconsistent turn-over machine named Paul Cotter gets to watch the playoffs, again.

      And for Ken to even think Eichel or Stone would no longer kill penalties is a head scratcher and again just shows he never played the game. His writing has a little gotten better, but his lack of hockey knowledge hasn’t changed in 7 years.

      49 – 9 – 81
      61 – 48 – 20
      39 – 71 – 16
      28 – 10 -55/21
      43 – 22 – 21/55

      PK: 9/71 a threat every time killing together, 61/20, 48/10

      • Pistol Pete

        I disagree. Ken knows a lot!

        • ailEd

          He’s gotten marginally better. Never said he didn’t know things. Hell, he somehow made a career writing a blog for an expansion team. Definite kudos there. It’s just very obvious he’s never played the game. You’d think after seven years and the growth of hockey in Vegas, he’d lace them up in a beginners league. Get some valuable locker room insight.

  3. NHhell

    Hertl said he will be back in 2 weeks, and that was a day ago.

    He will likely return on March 25 vs St Louis. or possibly a game sooner at home vs Columbus

  4. Emmanuel

    Eichel
    Hertl
    Karlsson
    are the likely top 3 C’s.
    Stephenson should probably be used at LW (which is VERY thin).

  5. Not sure what all the excitement is about – the guy hasn’t even stepped on the ice yet. We need to be concerned who can play at present and get a winning streak going otherwise his presence down the road will make little to no difference. Discussion about where Herti will play at the moment is as useful as picking fly shit out of pepper. That my friends is the difference between rose -colored glasses and reality. The only real important thing at the moment is winning, all else is nothing more than pie in the sky.

    • ThG

      i like pie

      cherry or apple, can’t wait for dinner and dessert. Thanks for reminding me.

    • JB

      Yes we need to win now! That’s obvious. But also nothing wrong with having some excitement on what the new players can bring for us!

    • Pistol Pete

      That was basically your view towards Eichel when waiting for him to return from his surgery and look how your “realist” approach worked that time! He got another three pts tonight and scored the OT winner. His two way play won the Cup too. If you are not bullish on Hertl something is wrong with your “vision”. Hertl is going to be another difference maker here.

  6. DeezNutz

    The team needs to start winning games NOW

  7. Starting with tonight have to start winning the 4 point games…put a little distance behind us and tge pretenders attempting to make the playoffs.. give all of the fan base a little breathing room and start focusing on our first round opponents whoever they might be!

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