Photo by the Vancouver Province
After being drafted eighth overall by Vancouver in 1989, Jason Herter went on to play in a grand total of one NHL game.
Years later, Vancouver fans still remember him, not because he was the only bust that year, but because of how much promise the Canadian boy showed in a city that had not seen a winning team in years.
At the time, Herder had a bright future in the game. He won gold with Team Canada in the 1990 World Junior Championship, and in the 1990 Goodwill Games.
Plagued by repeated groin injuries, however, Herter would never achieve the same success in league play. He limped through two injured seasons on Canucks farm teams before signing with the New York Islanders, with whom he played one game and recorded his only NHL point.
Despite some limited success in the IHL, he never cracked another NHL roster.
So what happened? Years later he admitted to the Vancouver Province that he simply hadn’t tried hard enough.
“I was that talented guy, and it was my blessing and my downfall,” he said. “I just took everything for granted. And when I had to fight for a spot, I didn't know how to react.”
He now coaches the Fargo Force of the USHL, and tries to convince his young players that just being good won’t get them to the big leagues.