The Oilers continued to load up on forwards at the 2016 draft, using their second-round selection on injury-plagued winger Tyler Benson. No player in this year’s draft fell farther than Benson, who was a projected top 10 pick back in the summer of 2016.
- Bob McKenzie: No. 39
- Craig Button: No. 44
- Corey Pronman: No. 18
- Black Book: No. 34
- McKeens: No. 43
- ISS: No. 55
- Corey Pronman: Benson has great instincts, constantly finding seams to get the puck to his teammates or on net. “He never wows you,” said one scout, “but he’s always around the puck, making a good play.” Benson is a quality defensive forward with great work ethic in battles and solid overall positional play. He doesn’t shy away from throwing a hit, and is strong on the puck.
- Black Book: Benson shows a strong compete level with a bulldog mentality. He’s the type who would rather go through you than around you. He plays with emotion and goes over the edge at times showing frustration. While we like him when he plays his power game, it was a somewhat inconsistent occurrence this season, something that was likely impacted by the nagging injuries.
- Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst: 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 honored 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. Source
Pronman is the one draft guru who had Benson as a first round player, I think the others would have save for the injuries. A risk pick for sure, Peter Chiarelli continues his work on the wings that began at the NHL level with Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon, continued into college spring signing with Drake Caggiula and Patrick Russell, and now lands on draft weekend with Jesse Puljujarvi and Benson.