The San Jose Sharks could be without rookie sensation Tomas Hertl after the 20-year-old forward was on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit Friday night. According to Czech journalist Roman Jedlicka, Hertl's father said his son was expected to miss a month. It could be longer, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
#SJSharks Tomas Hertl should be one month without hockey. Good source. Bad for Czech hockey team, bad for Calder Trophy...— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) December 20, 2013
Hertl took a knee-on-knee hit from LA Kings captain Dustin Brown, who received a five-minute major and was ejected from the game for the incident. It's tough to tell on the video how much intent there was on Brown's part, but it certainly wasn't a blatant targeting of the knee.
The Sharks rookie leads all first-year players with 15 goals and 25 points. He is a leading candidate for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year and is a prime option for the Czech Republic's Olympic team. He's also been a key player for the Sharks all season.
To have a young player miss significant time in his first year, San Jose will have to hope this doesn't throw him too far off track. Hertl has been one of the more exciting players this year and as the Sharks have cooled since their hot start, they can't afford to be without him long in a tough division.