At the 2012 NHL draft, Peter Chiarelli and his Boston Bruins scouting staff chose Matt Benning in the sixth round. These many days later, Benning is deciding which team to sign with, and as you know, Edmonton has a real shot. Benning has progressed pretty well since his draft day, and despite what some will tell you this represents a very attractive match between team and player.
MATT BENNING, POTENTIAL NEW DEFENSEMAN
- Shoots Right
- 6.0, 203
- Boxcars: 41, 6-13-19
- Team Rank: No. 2 scorer among defenders on Northeastern team
- NHL equivalency: 82, 4-10-14
- 2010-11 AJHL Champion Spruce Grove Saints
- 2012-13 Clark Cup Champion Dubuque Fighting Saints
- 2015-16 NCAA Hockey East Champion Northeastern University Huskies
In today’s crazy busy world (quick: What did you have for breakfast last Thursday morning?) it pays to make things simple in order to keep the attention of the reader (and my brain). Here are the Oilers draft picks in 2012, with the Bruins picks slotted in order—and as a special bonus—each player’s NHLE this past season.
OILERS 2012 DRAFT WITH 2016 NHLE
- No. 1 Nail Yakupov (Actual 60, 8-15-23)
- No. 32 Mitch Moroz (NHLE 9.6)
- No. 63 Jujhar Khaira (NHLE 21.2)
- No. 91 Daniil Zharkov (Injured did not play)
- No. 93 Erik Gustafsson (Actual 41, 0-14-14)
- No. 123 Joey Laleggia (NHLE 16.5)
- No. 153 John McCarron (NHLE 11.0)
BRUINS 2012 DRAFT WITH 2016 NHLE
- No. 24 Malcolm Subban (AHL SP .911)
- No. 85 Matt Grzelcyk (NHLE 25.8)
- No. 131 Seth Griffith (NHLE 52.0)
- No. 145 Cody Payne (Injured did not play)
- No. 175 Matthew Benning (NHLE: 14.1)
- No. 205 Colton Hargrove (NHLE: 17.5)
If the Oilers get Benning—and they have a chance—how many prospects are clearly better than he is on the Oilers list? Yakupov? Yes. I think the Russian—even now—will have a more valuable future. After that? I think Khaira and Gustafsson have to be considered as superior based on being farther along. That could change, but I am comfortable saying that Benning would be behind those three men.
Bruins? I would argue that Subban, Grzelcyk and Griffith (who had a silly AHL season, someone give him an NHL job) are probably more substantial prospects. What about you? Love to hear your answer in the comments section.
WHERE WOULD BENNING RANK ON THE OILERS PRO DEPTH CHART?
- LD Oscar Klefbom—RD Adam Larsson
- LD Andrej Sekera—RD Mark Fayne
- LD Darnell Nurse—LD Brandon Davidson
- LD Griffin Reinhart—LD Jordan Oesterle
- LD David Musil—LD Dillon Simpson
- LD Mark Fraser—RD Matt Benning
- LD Joey Laleggia—RD Frank Simonelli
- LD Ben Betker—LD Michael Tam
- LD Andrew Ference—LTIR.
Benning’s offense is best expressed (again) by NHLE, so here are the numbers among prospects who are likely to spend significant time in the AHL this year:
- LD Jordan Oesterle 21.9
- RD Matt Benning 14.1
- LD Dillon Simpson 13.5
- LD Griffin Reinhart 12.8
- LD Colton Waltz 10.2
- LD David Musil 8.1
- LD Ben Betker 6.2
- LD Frank Simonelli 5.5
- LD Mark Fraser 4.4
Benning’s offensive resume appears to be on par with Dillon Simpson and he does appear to be a player who we could include in the group who might handle a two-way role. Combine that with his scouting report and it will be interesting to see where he lands.
- Kirk Luedeke, The Scouting Post: Although he has just average height, Benning is a punishing hitter who moves around the ice initiating contact. He’s got the vision and a soft touch on the puck to be effective in the transition game, and he also showed some improved power on his point shot this season for the Huskies. He’s not a flashy or dynamic offensive presence, but he chips in with key production, as he did in helping the Dubuque Fighting Saints to the USHL’s 2013 league championship. Benning is positionally savvy with a willingness to do the dirty work and like his dad, Brian, might be one of those players who goes on to fashion a solid if unspectacular NHL career because of his versatility and smarts. Source