So far so good on the 2012 Fansided Mock Draft as players have been selected and donned the sweaters of the clubs that have placed the future of their franchises with these kids. The Buffalo Sabres are stocking for the future and trying to win at the same time.
If the Los Angeles Kings have taught us anything in this playoff run, getting in is enough, so long as you have the depth. The Buffalo Sabres, in consulting with Everest, the new Fansided mascot – are lacking depth at center, and will select with the 21st overall pick in the draft, Tomas Hertl, center, from the Czech Republic.
The Buffalo Sabres have a second pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft courtesy of the Nashville Predators, who gave the Sabres the pick in the trade that sent Paul Gaustad to the Preds at the deadline. The Predators made the deal in the hopes of solidifying for a lengthy playoff run. After running into the Los Angeles Kings – the Buffalo Sabres definitely look like winners in that deal.
Tomas Hertl gives the Buffalo Sabres the depth down the middle they need. While Hertl may not be a number one center in the NHL his first year out of the draft, the Sabres can put his stock in the minor league system and groom him to center a future blue and gold line. While the glory days of the Czech Republic may be behind as far as NHL talent goes (for the time being) Hertl is one of the few names coming out of the former Soviet country with an immense amount of talent. A skilled player, he has some great hands and a very accurate shot. He is always a threat to score or setup a teammate when in enemy territory. A quick look at his Czech U18 and U20 numbers show better than point per game production.
While stats alone could have one thinking that Hertl is a hockey player that gets by on talen alone, thats not the case as he doesn’t mind getting in the dirty areas and finishing his checks. Despite his name not being spelled with an I – he has the pretensity to try and get everything done himself – which isn’t always a bad thing. If honed properly, this is the type of player you want on the ice in the final seconds of a game when you need that tying goal or in the waning seconds of overtime to lift your team to victory. If honed properly – Tomas Hertl could be the new Mr. Clutch in a blue and gold uniform, something the Buffalo Sabres have been missing for a while.