For a long time after he was drafted, Tyler Benson answered a lot of questions about his health. In his draft season, he missed 42 games (playing in 30), and draft +1 he played 33 of 72.
It reached a point where Benson expressed frustration, telling Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province “I’m just worried about trying to get back to healthy and back on the ice with my team.”
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions until Sept. 19 here.
- New Lowetide: RE 19-20: How can the Oilers’ bottom six close the gap in goal differential?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson address respective highs and lows as Oilers rookie camp begins
- New Jonathan Willis: Riley Sheahan is a prudent signing by the Oilers in more ways than one
- New Jonathan Willis: Did Milan Lucic take a shot at Connor McDavid’s leadership?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With Evan Bouchard as the headliner, here are the players to watch at Oilers rookie camp
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the configuration of the Oilers second line
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s 2019-20: Pushing for 50 goals while Dave Tippett loads up the Oilers’ top line
- Lowetide: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey
- Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s measured summer leaves Oilers outside playoffs.
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Is Riley Sheahan an ideal fit for the Oilers as their No. 3 centre?
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
Benson’s AHL debut was a Godsend for an Oilers organization that badly needs some of its prospect forwards to cash. We’ve done this exercise before, but here are the numbers for picks 31-39 from the 2016 draft, with Alex DeBrincat drafted last and long gone:
DeBrincat will never be caught, he’ll pass 100 NHL goals this season. Benson and Kyrou are probably the two best players on the list after him, although injuries to names like Korshkov and Laberge have to be considered. The big number for Benson is games played. He didn’t miss even one. I don’t know if he makes the team out of camp but if Benson continues to deliver at a point-per-game in Bakersfield, it won’t be long.
The Oilers need a puck mover but not at $4.83 million and Faulk has his own issues. Puck IQ’s elite numbers are good not great and he badly trails the rest of the Hurricanes defenders. Suspect he’ll be dealt, don’t think it’s Edmonton.
I know it’s rookies and an exhibition but it’s hockey and some of the names who are likely to play may spend time in the NHL in the season to come. If you’re going to the game, please post a report for the group.
One of the final posts I wrote at hfboards was about Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot. I ran their numbers and asked if Brodziak might have the better career? Brodziak was a year older but in 2003-04 their numbers in junior were similar and MP was already having injury issues:
Marc Pouliot (age 18) 42, 25-33-58 (1.38)
Kyle Brodziak (age 19) 70, 39-54-93 (1.33)
Pouliot stopped short of 200 NHL games but Brodziak kept on rolling. It looks like his final total will be 917 regular season games. Brodziak, Shawn Horcoff and Jason Chimera represent outstanding value from a bygone era of Oilers later round drafting. Edmonton could use that kind of drafting now.
Sail on, Fort Saskatchewan Ranger. You met all expectations and then spent a decade exceeding them in the best league in the world. We won’t forget you.