This time a year ago, I would have told you that Kailer Yamamoto had the higher ceiling but that Tyler Benson was more of a sure bet to have an NHL career. I felt (still feel) Benson can find a role as a two-way winger while also having the talent to make it as a complementary player on a skill line. Is he on the verge of an NHL career?
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, check it out here.
- New Jonathan Willis: Flashback: When ‘Oil Change’ revealed key details of Oilers’ 1979, 2010 drafts
- New Lowetide: Edmonton’s Sports Hall of Fame should have 3 founding members
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers forward Colby Cave dies at age 25
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘The world needs more Colbys’: Teammates and coaches mourn Colby Cave
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘We’re all just praying’: Hockey community rallies around Colby Cave
- Jonathan Willis: What does the Oilers best possible playoff lineup look like?
- Lowetide: Why Jack Quinn is a perfect 2020 draft fit for the Oilers
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: My favourite player: Donovan Bailey
- Jonathan Willis: For one glorious fall, Alexander Selivanov was the NHL’s most dangerous scorer
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: ‘Hockey’s not that important right now’: Oilers minor-leaguer Colby Cave in coma
- Lowetide: Oilers’ five-on-five with and without Connor McDavid is improving
- Lowetide: Bakersfield Condors forward prospects might need a history lesson
- Lowetide: Craig MacTavish’s most important Oilers moment? Picking Leon Draisaitl
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: If play does not resume, 5 notable questions that will go unanswered in Edmonton
- Lowetide: Making the call on RFA and UFA players on the Oilers’ 50-man roster
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Scott Howson on new AHL job, Oilers’ unsung prospect and development updates
- Lowetide: A look back at reasonable expectations and the Oilers fantastic special teams in 2019-20.
- Jonathan Willis: If the Oilers need to clear money with a buyout, they have one real option
LT 21-40 NHLE’S
Here we reach the annual ‘dazed and confused’ portion of my draft list. Players who were ranked high early and then struggled (Holloway) are mixed in with late breakers (Mysak) and I spend a couple of months figuring things out.
I’ve been moving Guhle down all year, now I think he’s too low. Neighbours could move up, but I think he’s going to have an Ethan Moreau career as opposed to being a consistent offensive contributor. Nothing wrong with that, but do you draft that player in the first round?
Ridly Greig will move up, Wallinder too, but the rest have issues and we could see several move down. Tomorrow: 41-63.
Benson is tracking a little behind Dillon Dube, the two men were chosen in the same round of the same year and the numbers have been consistent over several years.
Benson has been a little behind each season, with age 19 seeing Dube spike and he arrived about six months (and counting) before Benson. Is it reasonable to suggest that Benson might play in 45 games next season? Post 14-20 points? I think that’s the range.
Ideally Benson gets an NHL center similar to Cooper Marody (RH, very skilled) although that player is not on the roster. He had limited minutes with Riley Sheahan as his pivot (45 minutes, 42.68 Corsi, 1-3 goals) and 11:52 with Gaetan Haas (82.35 Corsi, no goals).
- Andreas Athanasiou—Connor McDavid—Zack Kassian
- Nuge—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
- Tyler Benson—Colton Sissons—Josh Archibald
- Joakim Nygard—Riley Sheahan—Alex Chiasson
- James Neal, Jujhar Khaira
- Darnell Nurse—Ethan Bear
- Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
- Caleb Jones—Evan Bouchard
- Kris Russell
- Mikko Koskinen, Anton Khudobin
Miles to go before we’re discussing nuts and bolts solutions as a reality, but I think the key additions to the roster will include rookies Benson and Bouchard.