Tyler Benson’s NHL equivalencies have shown a consistent contributor offensively since he was drafted. A forward who posts 30+ NHLE points should be able to grab an NHL job and score enough to stay in the league until his hands betray him.
Benson was drafted around some quality players in 2016’s second round. We know he’ll never catch Alex DeBrincat, but what about the other men drafted in the second round with Benson?
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DRAFT DAY NHLE’S SINCE 2010 (TOP OILERS PICKS)
- Connor McDavid 25-42-67
- Taylor Hall 17-29-46
- Nail Yakupov 18-22-40
- Leon Draisaitl 15-25-40
- Kailer Yamamoto 16-22-38
- Ryan Nugent Hopkins 11-27-38
- Raphael Lavoie 12-15-27
- Ryan McLeod 10-17-27
- Tyler Benson 7-16-23
- Jesse Puljujarvi 10-11-21
TYLER BENSON’S NHLE’S
The NHLE’s do a nice job of showing who is emerging and when. DeBrincat was miles better than everyone in the second round on draft day, and was posting 52 points in an NHL season two years later. Jordan Kyrou has had a nice trajectory since draft day too, I think he’ll be a regular for several years. In this group, I would pick Benson third. He’s been a consistent 30+ NHLE since he was drafted. He’s ready.
RAPHAEL LAVOIE’S NHLE’S
Lavoie looks good in this group, he won’t catch Kaliyev (who isn’t in DeBrincat territory but it is no more than one town over) but there’s some real talent there. A good trajectory.
RYAN MCLEOD’S NHLE’S
I think Berggren projects as the best in this group, after that no clear second place finisher. Ylonen and McLeod are playing in pro leagues and project as bottom six options, Noel and Drury can still be projected a little higher. I don’t think this group is as clear as it will be three years from now.
BOB MCKENZIE’S 2020 SECOND ROUND
- No. 34 LC Jan Mysak (OHL) 30.1
- No. 35 LC Marat Khusnutdinov (MHL) 12.7
- No. 39 LW Ty Smilanic (USHL) 14.3
- No. 40 RW Ozzy Wiesblatt (WHL) 27.1
- No. 41 RW Sam Colangelo (USHL) 29.2
I’ve mentioned a few times that trading Jesse Puljujarvi for a second-round pick isn’t something to recommend but an exception could be made if Jan Mysak is available at (say) No. 35 overall.
OILERS SECOND ROUND FORWARDS 2010-19
If we run the NHLE’s for second round picks through the last decade, we get an idea about when the organization turned the corner and started valuing second-round picks as offensive contributors. Miles to go, but progress, starting with Marco Roy, and that’s the time men like Craig MacTavish and Michael Parkatti were adding their valuations to the pile. I consider any NHLE season of 30 or more points after draft +1 as representing NHL-readiness.
Pitlick’s numbers were a little shy for an early second rounder but year two looked promising. He couldn’t stay healthy in the AHL and lost both development time and opportunities with the Oilers. Pitlick finally found the range and for his NHL career is averaging 13-11-24 per 82 NHL games.
Roy is a lost opportunity in my opinion, drafted by MacT in 2013 and then signed to an AHL-only deal (laughable considering the quality of players who the team gave pro contracts to in 2015) and put him on the No. 4 line with PK duty. He STILL outperformed the competition but the organization’s new management group had no interest.
Benson is the first forward this decade chosen in the second round who has delivered the kind of offense that will land him an NHL job. If he’s bottom-six, then he should be capable of delivering 25-30 points per 82 games. That’s a little more than Pitlick and the resume suggests that’s fair. Lavoie is tracking ahead of Benson but it’s early days.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Friday edition of the Lowdown, we hit the airwaves steady talking at 10, TSN1260. Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports will talk NHL’s return and who he likes to win it all among Canadian teams. Tom Gazzola from TSN’s Don Wheaton on Whyte Pre & Post-Game Show and the Locked on Oilers podcast gives us the latest on RTP and CBA negotiations. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!