NHL Draft Prospect: Caleb Herbert

     In his continuing series of looking at likely 2010 NHL Entry Draft picks in June, Chris Dilks of Western College hockey has a profile here of Minnesota Duluth recruit Caleb Herbert, a centerman from Bloomington Jefferson. Below are some of the highlights:

Name: Caleb Herbert

Height: 5-10

Weight: 175 pounds.

2009-10 team: Bloomington Jefferson (Minn.) High School

2009-10 stats: 25 games, 26 goals, 29 assists, 55 points

Prospect Info:

Caleb Herbert was a little late to the NHL Draft radar after missing most of his sophomore season of high school hockey with a broken leg. But that summer, he returned to the ice and was extremely impressive at USA Hockey’s Select 17, earning an invite to the US Select team that traveled to the Ivan Hlinka tournament.

The following winter, he returned to Bloomington Jefferson and helped return the Jaguars to prominence, by going undefeated until losing to powerhouse Edina in the section final. In his senior year, he was the leading scorer in the fall Elite League, and was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey award.

Herbert is a very gifted offensive player. He’s got an excellent burst of speed, and great instincts in the offensive zone. He’ll likely play a year in the USHL next season, where he’ll refine his offensive skill against older, tougher competition, before heading to Minnesota Duluth in 2011.

Strengths: Offensive instincts, goal-scoring ability

Needs to Improve: Size, discipline with penalties, defensive play

Final Projection:

Herbert definitely seems like a boom-or-bust type of prospect, whose future will depend on his ability to keep scoring lots of goals, something that may be tougher as he faces better, and perhaps more importantly at his size, bigger, more physical competition. But there is certainly enough talent there to justify using a mid-to-late round draft pick on him.

He’ll get a year in the USHL, and four years at Minnesota Duluth which should help him develop into a more well-rounded, complete player. If he adds that dimension to his game, along with speed and ability to contribute offensively, he could develop into a solid second or third line forward for some NHL team.