San Jose Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl will be unable to represent his country, the Czech Republic, at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Reports out of the Czech Republic say that Hertl will miss the games due to the knee injury he sustained after the knee on knee hit from Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown.
Currently, Hertl leads all NHL rookies in goals with 15 and has a total of 25 points. The speedy winger has added more scoring depth to an already deep scoring group in San Jose.
The Czech Republic was not considered to be amongst the elite that would contend for a medal at the upcoming games, but Hertl would have added some youth and some added scoring to the Czech team. The Czech Republic is led by long time veteran Jaromir Jagr who is playing in his 5th Olympics and Boston Bruin forward David Krejci.
For a team lacking in depth, the injury to Hertl could prove to be costly for a Czech team that already was facing an uphill battle. The Olympics take place starting on February 7th and conclude on February 23rd.
The Czechs have not medaled since taking bronze in the 2006 Olympics. Their only other medal came in the 1998 Nagano Olympics when Dominik Hasek helped lead the team to gold.