San Jose Sharks winger Tomas Hertl suffered a “minor knee injury” at the team’s prospect development camp on Tuesday, reports David Pollik of the San Jose Mercury News. General manager Doug Wilson downplayed the injury afterwards, calling it a “minor tweak, just soreness from not skating.”
Hertl, 20, missed the majority of the 2013-14 season after colliding with Los Angeles Kings star Dustin Brown in mid-December. He was in the midst of a breakout season at the time, and still finished 14th in voting for the Calder Trophy despite missing 45 games with the injury.
A talented offensive player who showed a knack for putting the puck in the net, Hertl recorded 15 goals and 25 points in 37 games with the Sharks last season. He turned heads early in the season with a four-goal game against the New York Rangers, then returned from injury to record five points in the Sharks’ seven-game series against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs.
As a precaution, the Sharks will likely hold Hertl out of the prospects game on Wednesday night at SAP Center. He was expected to be one of the biggest names there, but obviously the team can’t risk his health with so much riding on next season.
Hertl was originally selected by the Sharks in the first round of the 2012 draft with the 17th overall pick. He previously starred in his native Czech Republic as a teenager, and is the first player born in the modern Czech Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia to reach the NHL.