Every year there are prospects who draw more attention than their peers, and this year Tyler Benson is one of those players. His final year of Bantam hockey saw him score a ridiculous 146 points in 33 games, which led him to being selected first overall by the Vancouver Giants in the WHL Bantam Draft in 2013.
Since that point however, Benson has failed to live up to the hype. The Giants have not been a very good squad, and despite Benson's best efforts as Captain, he's been unable to elevate the team to contender status. He scored less than a point-per-game last season, and thanks to injuries he was only able to skate in 30 games this past season, putting up 28 points.
The talent is there, the tenacity is there, but can he bring it all together as a pro?
Current Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Date of Birth: March 15, 1998
Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta
Weight: 201 lbs
His Bantam and Midget resume tell of a consistent scorer/generator with a strong physical game. So far he has been asked to be an all situation player with the Giants, and hasn’t disappointed. Big bodied left wing with physicality and edginess. Displays a strong defensive game, hockey IQ, a nice skill set, and does all things at an above average levels. And although he has a choppy stride, he is powerful and coupled with his high-end stickhandling skills and size, he fearless competes down low and in all the battle areas.
Good on the cycle. An excellent passer and his precise shot and release are also high-end, although his assist totals surpass his goals. Usually the unprecise art of scout attempts to look at the entire canvass starting with the early age years and the question is asked is the prospects continuing to improve on his scoring, abilities and can he be projected as a player who will continue in improving ensuring a role on an NHL club whether it be top six or bottom six.
The point is to project that you are drafting a player who eventually makes your parent club. I think that if his goal totals were a bit higher, there would be no questions that he makes the grade. I think his goal totals with continue upward and his development is far from over. - Bill Placzek, Draft Site
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Benson *kinda* reminds me of Boone Jenner in his draft year. A point-per-game player in his draft year, Jenner fell to the second round where the Jackets were all too happy to scoop him up. Unlike Jenner however, Benson has dealt with issues of consistency and health in his draft year. If he falls to the second round, he may be a good addition for the CBJ, giving them depth on the wing and a player with raw talent that can be brought along slowly.
Benson in Action: