Odessa, TX –The Odessa Jackalopes, proud members of the North American Hockey League, have signed forward Kyle Herbster to a tender for the 2018-19 season. Herbster is the sixth tender the Jackalopes have signed this season.
Herbster, the native of Cary, Illinois, just finished his second year of junior hockey, playing in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League for the prior two seasons.
“I saw that last year the team had a good year and made playoffs, and that’s something I want to be apart of,” says Herbster. “I also talked with a player from the team last year, and he had nothing but good things to say about Odessa; he said I’ll love it. Also, who doesn’t want to play hockey where it’s always nice and 80 degrees most of the time?”
After playing midget hockey in Illinois for Team Illinois U16 and U18 with only 21 points in 51 games over two seasons, Herbster joined the Cochrane Crunch of the NOJHL.
In his first season of junior hockey, Herbster netter 17 goals and assisted on 16 more for his team in 56 games. The following season, Herbster played in only 55 games, but increased his production a total of 53 points (36-50-86). Herbster’s 86 points earned him the league’s top scorer, as well as a second-team All-Star in the NOJHL.
“I think I finally found a scoring touch,” says Herbster about his production increase. “I definitely had more confidence than I did my first year. My line mates and I clicked really well and that helped us out a bunch.”
“Kyle is a big get for us. He is a down to earth hard working kid that led his team to a league championship this season, and also won the NOJHL scoring title,” says associate head coach Cody Campbell. “He will also be entering his 3rd season of junior hockey and knows what it takes to have success individually but also, more importantly, as a group. We are really excited to have Kyle on board for next season.”
Herbster’s high production rate helped propel his team to the top record and eventual NOJHL Champions. They made it all the way to the Dudley Hewitt Cup before the team lost in the round robin.
“I want to bring what I learned from last years experience to the Jacks. There’s a difference between the regular season and postseason, and I hope that from what I learned, I can share it with the other guys. I especially want to share it with guys in their first year or their first time in the postseason to help us make a run at the championship.”
Herbster joins Martin Pietraszek, Matt Hutton, Cade Roberts, Rex Moe, and Connor Smith as the other Jackalopes tenders who look to break through with the team for next season.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders plus or minus any trades, which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft, which will be held on June 5, 2018.
— ODESSA JACKALOPES —