SAN JOSE — For 19-year-old Tomas Hertl, Tuesday night's exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks is one more step he still needs to take before guaranteeing himself a spot on the Sharks roster this season.

"Do I think that Tomas can play in the NHL? I do," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after his team's morning skate. "But he's also played against a mixture of AHL and NHL players. I think the lineup Vancouver will bring in tonight will give us a good indication of whether he can play against the Keslers and the Sedins and the Hamhuises and that type of d-corps."

Hertl, who has a goal and an assist in two games, is again expected to skate on a line with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns.

"He shoots the puck very well. He skates real good for a big man. He looks solid so far," Thornton said of Hertl. "He's only played in this small surface for a little bit of time so I just expect him to get better and better."

A native of the Czech Republic, Hertl's English is limited.

"We talk to him and I don't know if he understands what we're saying, but he just nods and smiles," Thornton said. "Me and Burnzie will continue to talk with him and that's how you grow as a line."

This is the final home exhibition game for the Sharks, who are 2-0-1 in the exhibition season.

  • The Sharks will be seeing their first action since getting word that Raffi Torres will be sidelined for more than a month with a knee injury. Adam Burish will miss his third game with a lower body injury, but McLellan said the fourth-line forward should be healthy by the Oct. 3 season opener.

    McLellan also said the injury that has limited Brad Stuart's skating in training camp has healed, but the veteran defenseman may not be ready to play by Oct. 3.

    "Now it's about all the stuff he didn't get to do for the last month — the fitness, the training, the lungs, the legs, the timing," McLellan said. "He'll need some work there."