Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Why Sharks Couldn’t Refuse Golden Knights’ Hertl Offer



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

What is David Edstrom’s value around the NHL right now?

And what are the draft picks exchanged in the Tomas Hertl trade worth?

To try to answer both questions, I consulted NHL amateur scouts from outside the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights organizations, and Dom Luszczyszyn’s draft pick value chart.

On Friday, the San Jose Sharks sent Hertl, 30, along with their 2025 and 2027 third-rounders to the Vegas Golden Knights for 2023 first-rounder David Edstrom and their unprotected 2025 first-rounder.

The Sharks are also retaining on roughly 17 percent of the six years left on Hertl’s eight-year, $65.1 million extension, signed in 2022, turning an $8.1375 million AAV to $6.75 million AAV for Vegas and $1.3875 million annual retention for San Jose.

Before we get to Edstrom and draft pick values, what’s Hertl worth? How about six years of salary retention?

Let’s break down four parts of the Hertl trade, the player, the retention, the value of Edstrom, and the value of the draft picks.

Tomas Hertl

On one hand, Hertl is still a fringe first-line center, who plays a responsible two-way game and can dominate down low. “Fringe” is not an insult – Hertl is a first-line center on a bad team, a second-line center on a great team – there’s no shame in that. He might be a franchise icon, but he’s not a franchise player.

On the other hand, he’s 30, has a significant history of knee injuries, and there’s really no way to predict how his game and body will age. There’s a larger-than-normal risk associated with Hertl, I’d venture to say, than other stars his age.

Add to that, expensive 30-something players with significant term don’t command much in trade – recent examples include Kevin Hayes and Erik Karlsson in 2023, Ryan McDonagh in 2022, Cam Atkinson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson in 2021. Karlsson, McDonagh, and Atkinson were examples of players who were still performing at high levels who didn’t necessarily get commensurate value for their on-the-ice production.


As for salary retention, six years is a lot, but $1.3875 million each season is not.

There have been just two other examples of a team retaining six or more years in the salary cap era, Phil Kessel in 2015 and Oliver Ekman-Larsson in 2021.

Per CapFriendly:

What these three trades have in common is the relatively-low annual retentions, $1.2 million for the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kessel and $990,000 for the Arizona Coyotes for Ekman-Larsson.

While it’s hard to parse out how much the Pittsburgh Penguins, for Kessel, and the Vancouver Canucks, for Ekman-Larsson, ponied up for the other side to retain, safe to say that it helped grease the wheels for one or two premium assets going the other way in both trades, Kasperi Kapanen (a 2014 first-round pick) and a 2016 first-round pick in the Kessel deal, and the ninth-overall pick of the 2021 Draft in the Ekman-Larsson move.

David Edstrom

Edstrom was the last pick of the first round of the 2023 Draft.

The 6-foot-3 two-way center has enjoyed a strong 19-year-old campaign, scoring seven goals and 19 points for Frolunda in the SHL.

So where would Edstrom go in a re-Draft?

I asked four amateur scouts from NHL organizations outside the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights for their thoughts.

I got back a No. 16-22, 20-25, 32, and 40.

Suffice to say, Edstrom has had an excellent season. Even the scout who gave Edstrom a No. 40 in the re-Draft agreed — he just wasn’t really high on the player to begin with.

Draft Pick Values

It’s a crapshoot, of course.

The expectation is that the Golden Knights’ unprotected 2025 first-round pick will be late, but that’s what the San Jose Sharks thought in 2018 when they sent their unprotected 2020 first-rounder to the Ottawa Senators for Karlsson.

We know what happened there.

But let’s say the 2025 Vegas first-rounder is the 25th pick (3.4 GSVA).

Let’s say the 2025 San Jose third-rounder is No. 65-68 (1.0) and the 2027 third is No. 73-77 (0.8).

Then, you can plug in Edstrom wherever you want on this chart.


If you’ve got this far, you can probably guess why I think this was a terrific trade, at the moment, for the San Jose Sharks.

Hertl is a 30-something star with lots of term left, a type of player who has a reduced market value.

The overall salary retention, over six years, is plenty of money, but the annual retention isn’t that much, relative to a rising cap. It’s about one Matt Benning, signed by the Sharks as a UFA in 2022 to a four-year contract with a $1.25 million AAV.

The future is unclear for Edstrom, but consensus is, he’s a top prospect whose star is rising.

More unclear is where the 2025 and 2027 draft picks will land, but a 2025 first-round pick, even a late one, is considered a premium asset.

You don’t typically get two premium U20 assets, counting Edstrom, for a 30-something star with tons of term left. You need a team like Vegas — there aren’t many, if any, teams that are so desperate to win a Stanley Cup.

$1.3875 million annual retention and two third-round picks were a relatively small price to pay to get the deal over the finish line.

For the rebuilding Sharks? This was an offer that they couldn’t refuse.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook