Oct 1, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT
Now, they’re linemates.
That’s one of the big stories as San Jose opens the 2013-14 campaign against Vancouver on Thursday, as Hertl will skate on a line with Thornton and defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns.
“Tomas being my linemate, it’s been a lot of fun,” Thornton told CSN Bay Area. “Me and Burnzie have been smiling a lot, just enjoying his company out there. I think with getting some young guys in here, it adds a little bit more enthusiasm in the room.”
Hertl is only 19 years old, but hardly a kid. He’s got good size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and has spent the past two seasons playing against men in the Czech Extraliga, scoring 30 points in 43 games for HC Slavia Praha last year.
The 17th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Hertl is looking to make an impact after starring in the preseason. He scored 3G-1A in four games and will have a chance to fill the void at forward after Raffi Torres was lost for 3-4 months following ACL surgery.
“I think that’s what you’re going to see with Tomas this year, each week he’s going to get better and better,” Thornton explained. “Every week he’s been here he’s gotten better, and it’s a good sign.”
- With Dubinsky locked up, Jackets next task is re-signing Johansen 2
- Lightning sign Brenden Morrow for one year 25
- Jackets sign Dubinsky through 2020-21 39
- AHL’s new overtime rules include 3-on-3 play 27
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration 67
- Armstrong lays out what Blues offered KHL-bound Sobotka 15
- Blues re-sign Ott; Sobotka to KHL? 35
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal 62
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions 170
- Jets can’t let Kane situation fester much longer 57
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions (170)
- Pros and cons of Subban filing for arbitration (67)
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration (67)
- Boyle wanted Big Apple after playing in ‘nontraditional hockey markets’ of Florida, California (63)
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal (62)