December 30 2016 10:56AM
The Edmonton Oilers announced today that Tyler Benson has signed his entry level contract.
The story, as we all know, on Tyler Benson is that his draft stock in last year's draft slid mostly due to an array of injuries in his draft year. There aren't many people that doubt the local boy's ability or hockey smarts, but he needs to find a way to stay healthy. When the skilled winger is playing he's known to be relentless on the puck with the ability to make plays, and those are traits that are few and far between in the Oilers' prospect pool. When Benson was available with the 32nd pick it almost seemed obvious that Edmonton would grab him.
Today, Tyler Benson took the next step in his career as he signed his very first NHL contract and for that we speak his name. At the time of this post, the money portion of Benson's three-year deal has not been disclosed but I'll update the post when someone spills the beans. Benjamins aside, this has got to be an amazing day and feeling for the Edmonton product to sign an NHL contract with the team that he grew up watching.
He is a nightmare to defend because he is as physically punishing with the puck as he is without it. Benson is very shifty with tremendous balance, meaning he can continue to move if he gets hit at the same time he decides to change direction. Possessing the kind of vision and IQ he owns makes it no surprise the CHL came close to giving him “exceptional” status to play a full season as a 15 year old (cut short by a knee injury). And while some felt his production last season (45 points in 62 games) was unbecoming of a CHL’er almost honoured in the same manner as John Tavares and Connor McDavid, his ability to swarm the puck and do something with it thereafter makes him a highly-dangerous prospect to overlook. We’re still not sure whether to classify him as a playmaker or a scorer because he can be both, sometimes off the same cycle, when he will either create quality chances for others, or grab the puck and wire a heavy, accurate shot with a quick release. The sky’s the limit for the Edmonton native, and as far as the CHL is concerned, we think he’s almost there. -Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
A natural goal scorer, Benson can hurt the opposition in a variety of ways. As mentioned he has a hard and accurate wrist shot with a good release. He also has a very good one-timer. He is also willing to stand in front of the net and take punishment to get tip ins and rebounds. Benson does well in protecting the puck in the cycle game. His excellent lower body strength gives him good balance, and he has the frame to protect the puck in battles. He has the stickhandling ability to take the puck off the wall, and get around a defender to create a play, but is not one to make a huge number of fancy moves in transition. Benson does have the ability to be a playmaker as well, with strong tape-to-tape passes and good vision. -Last Word on Sports
Benson is an intriguing, but risky one. Coming into the year, he looked like a lock for the top 10, but he dealt with a lot of injuries. Assuming he can get healthy, he's a dynamic talent. He had 28 points in 30 games this year. -Chris Peter, CBS Sports
- A powerful kid who uses both his brains and skill to outplay his opponent. He has some skating issues that will need work, but is hard to contain down low and can really be dangerous deep in the offensive zone. He just owns the boards, protects the puck and wills himself to win most one-on-one battles. His shot is pro caliber, and he needs little space or time to put the puck in the net. -Future Considerations
TYLER BENSON'S IN THE DUB