May 07, 2015

Jason Herter

Jason Herter was selected in the first round (8th pick overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1989 National Hockey League entry draft.

Such a lofty draft position created a lot of excitement about Herter's future in the NHL. And it was well warranted. The Hafford, Saskatchewan native learned his hockey at the famous Notre Dame Hounds school in Saskatchewan before starring on the University of North Dakota blueline for three seasons.  Not only did he post 30 goals and 119 points in 118 career WCHA games but he was singled out for his studies, too, by earning a spot on both the hockey all star team and the all-academic team.

A member of the Canadian National Junior Team in 1990, Herter went on to an 11 year professional career, making many stops all over North America and Europe. Only one game in his career would be played at the National Hockey League level. In the 1995-96 season Herter picked up an assist in a game with the New York Islanders.

Some injuries, particularly bad hips, really hampered his early development as a professional. But Herter, in a 2008 interview with the Vancouver Province, was very honest about why he was a first round draft bust.

"I think I was very naive and not smart when I was younger," said Herter. "If I knew what I knew at 25 when I was 18, it would be have different.

"It's hard to explain. I never had to be coached. I was that talented guy, and it was my blessing and my downfall. I just took everything for granted. And when I had to fight for a spot, I didn't know how to react.

"I would have played in the NHL if I wasn't drafted. I would have been pissed. I got complacent. If I was in a position to not get complacent, I would have had a better chance."

"I feel like I have to tell my Dad, 'I had my chance and I missed it.'"

Herter retired as a player in 2002. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in business management from North Dakota in 2005 and two years later received a Master’s degree in entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

But Herter has always remained active in hockey. He coached and managed Fargo, North Dakota's team in the United States Hockey League before joining the coaching staff at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

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