The Future Of The NHL: A Complete Package

Vince RichardsCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

Take a second and imagine the pure beauty of this: A defenseman with the speed and agility of Brian Campbell, the slick hands of Andrei Markov, the powerful shot of Sheldon Souray, the patience of Nicklas Lindstrom, the offensive mind of Mike Green, the hitting ability of Dion Phaneuf and Brent Seabrook, and the grit of Brooks Orpik.

Put them all together and you have Barrett Kaib.

With that being said, there is one prospect in particular that has caught the eye of many. Born in 1993, defenseman Barrett Kaib is an elite player always at the top of his game.

Barrett Kaib, 16, hails from Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania. Growing up right outside Pittsburgh, a city rich with hockey history, Kaib knew he wanted to be like the stars of his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Starting at a tender age, Barrett put his hockey skills to the test and competed for several years at the elite level in Pittsburgh. Playing for the Pittsburgh Hornets under coach Jeff Potter for three years really developed this young man into quite the hockey player.

Potter had this to say about Barrett: "I have never seen a kid develop so quickly. Barrett shows up to every practice and game with the right attitude and never let's me, nor his team mates down. I have always known Barrett had something special in him, and to me, it's his drive to succeed. He is my best defenseman by a landslide and having the opportunity to coach such a skilled player is a privilege. Barrett will make it far someday, whether it be the NHL, or Europe, he will be a professional."

Over three years with the Pittsburgh Hornets, Kaib totaled 72 points (14 goals and 58 assists) and also managed to rack up 248 penalty minutes, which is an average of about 82 per season.

Don't let the numbers fool you because Kaib is actually better in his own zone than the opposing teams.

An unidentified scout said, "The ability this kid has in all three zones is just simply phenomenal. I have been a scout for quite some time and to this day, I have seen no other defenseman in the same element as this kid. He is always one step ahead of the rest of the guys out there. Rarely will you see him out of position. The best part of his game is his hitting. He will be sure to let you know if your head is down."

Kaib recently finished his sophomore year of high school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Culver is a widely established school that has had it's fair share of hockey talent including: Gary Suter, Ryan Suter, Blake Geoffrion and John Michael Liles.

Head coach Al Clark told us that, "Barrett is the kind of player every coach wants. His mentality goes unmatched and he is very competitive."

Teammate Kit Sitterley was asked the difference between Kaib on and off the ice and responded by saying, "BK is a great kid in both situations, you know? I have gotten to know him pretty well over the year and I feel were pretty close. Off the ice, BK loves to joke around and have a good time. Once BK steps into the locker room, he's like a totally different person, you know? He comes in, says hi, sits in his stall, puts a game face on, and boom, he's ready to go."

In just one season at Culver, Kaib had 26 points (three goals and 23 assists) in just 38 games. Kaib was also the leader in penalty minutes with 88.

When asked to describe Barrett's talent, his teammates said, "He is unbelievable. When Kaiber is out there on the blue line, I feel comfortable enough to try something new because if I mess up, I know he will be there."

Another teammate said, "Barrett is a great kid. He shows no emotion or fear on the ice. I love the way he sticks up for me and the guys and is never afraid to drop 'em if he has to."

The offers keep piling in for this kid as he has already talked to numerous D-I schools, OHL, WHL, QMJHL, USHL and NAHL teams throughout North America.

Next season, at a solid five-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Barrett will face off against some of the best in the world as he will represent Team USA for the NTDP U-17 team. He will take part in a few international tournaments that will get his name out even more than it is now as well as compete in the USHL.

Look for this 16-year-old phenom to be among one of the top picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.