SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson raves about a young prospect about as often as he wore a helmet during his playing days. He wants the talented kids in San Jose's organization to prove themselves on NHL ice before the praise flows.
Wilson made an exception last spring for 19-year-old forward Tomas Hertl, the Sharks' first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft from the Czech Republic.
Just days after the Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a seven-game semifinals loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Wilson held his annual season-ending press conference, looking back but also looking ahead to the 2013-14 season. As he talked about how excited the Sharks were "about what's ahead of us," Hertl's name came up often.