Last week, the San Jose Sharks extended one of their best forwards and potential trade deadline target for several contending teams in center Tomas Hertl, inking the twenty-eight-year-old to an eight-year, $65.1 million dollar deal ($8.137 AAV). Sharks GM Doug Wilson continues his trend of signing his core players to long-term contracts as this is the fifth time he’s given out an eight-year term over the course of the last decade (Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic).
Continuing on the topic of Doug Wilson’s free agency history, Tomas Hertl’s $65.1 million is actually the second-highest total-value contract he has signed since 2003 according to CapFreindly.com (behind only Erik Karlsson’s eight-year, $92 million dollar deal in 2019), and the most total money ever given to a positive AB player by Wilson. Tomas Hertl is a career +1.23 AB player in his eight-year career and has registered individually positive AB seasons in three of the last four years, two of which the Sharks failed to qualify for the playoffs and were -120 or worse in both seasons. Production-wise, Hertl’s twenty-five goals this season are actually the second most goals he’s scored in his career behind his thirty-five in seventy-seven games during the 2018-19 season. His forty-nine points (twenty-five goals with twenty-four assists) in sixty-two games is his highest overall point total since that 2018-19 season as well, where Hertl scored thirty-five goals as previously mentioned with thirty-nine assists for seventy-four points, all of which remain career-highs.
When we ran Tomas Hertl (41.60 Points/AB) through our arbitration analyzer to determine an appropriate salary figure and comparison, we found his closest comparables to be Florida’s Sam Reinhart (42.28 Points/AB) and Vancouver’s Bo Horvat (40.75 Points/AB). Reinhart recently signed a three-year, $19.5 million dollar deal ($6.5 million AAV) with the Panthers this offseason after being traded from the Buffalo Sabres for a first-round-pick and goaltender Devon Levi and Horvat has a year remaining after this season at a $5.5 million dollar cap hit. Our analyzer projected Hertl as a $6 million dollar player which is $2.1 million less than he actually signed for. If he had hit the open market, perhaps he would’ve even gotten 9-10 million. This extension will leave the San Jose Sharks with just over thirteen million dollars in cap space to work with this offseason and have eight pending restricted free agents (Jonah Gadjovich, Noah Gregor, Jonathan Dahlen, Nicolas Meloche, Jacob Middleton, Zach Sawchenko, Mario Ferraro, and Nikolai Knyzhov). The Sharks are 27-27-8 in their sixty-two games played this season with exactly sixty-two points, good for a second-to-last place in the Pacific Division. We will certainly be monitoring any other moves they make during deadline day today. More to come.