This is the third installment of my countdown to rookie camp series.
photo by mnhockeyprospects.com
Name: Caleb Herbert
Weight: 180 lbs
Weight: 180 lbs
Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
When Caleb Herbert got the news from his agent that he'd been drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 5th round (142nd overall), he was at work. Selling parking tickets to cars coming onto a beach in his hometown. It seemed a fitting situation for a humble high school grad from Minnesota. "It was an awesome feeling," Herbert said.
For the past three years, Herbert played with Bloomington-Jefferson High School's team. Known for his speed, he was a standout on the team, scoring 55 points in just 25 games played in 2009-10, and he finished the regular season with a +37. But while Herbert comes from high school hockey, he's no stranger to professional hockey situations. In the summer of 2008, he was on Team USA in the Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament. He scored two goals in the final game of the tournament, and helped USA to a 6-5 win over Switzerland. For his efforts, Herbert was named Team USA's Player of the Game.
Graduating from high school earlier this summer, Herbert is getting ready for the next step in his hockey development. He was snapped up in the 2009 USHL Entry Draft by the Sioux City Musketeers with the 172nd pick. He'll spend one year in Sioux City, as he's committed to University of Minnesota-Duluth starting 2011-12. On his college selection, Herbert seemed excited about his team:
"The [University of Minnesota] Gophers didn't really cross my mind. I just had an interest in Duluth. I really liked the coaches there, they're getting a brand new rink, and their program is on the rise, so I think it's a good time to go in there and work hard, and hopefully move on to the Capitals after that."
Herbert had a lot to learn at this summer's Capitals development camp, but coach Bruce Boudreau indicated that he was impressed with Herbert's quick learning.
With NCAA rules about signing NHL contracts, we likely won't see Herbert in the Caps organization for another 5 years. But in 5 years, he'll still be only 23 and will have gained valuable experience at a collegiate level. Look for him to make a splash in the world of college hockey."Skill-wise, Caleb is doing really good. When you've only played high school hockey, the structure isn't what it is at this level. He had a little trouble catching on a little bit on the- not on the drills, but on the way we play because it's more go go go."