Where is Tyler Benson on Edmonton’s LW depth chart? Who would be his ideal linemates? If he spends the year on an NHL taxi squad, how much would he play?
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BENSON AND DUBE
Dillon Dube was drafted after Tyler Benson in the 2016 draft but arrived in the NHL before him. Here are their respective NHLE’s since pre-draft seasons:
Dube shoots more and has better speed, but he is projecting as a top-9 forward in the NHL. Benson has been consistently behind Dube as a scoring forward and would fit in the top-9 forward projection. Here are their NHLE’s for goals scored:
Dube’s speed and goal scoring make him more dynamic, but Benson’s passing and ability to win battles mean he also has a story to tell. His shots per game totals are low compared to Edmonton’s NHL left wingers (five on five via NaturalStatTrick):
- Tyler Ennis 8.72
- Andreas Athanasiou 7.97
- RNH 7.61
- Joakim Nygard 6.73
- James Neal 6.06
- Tyler Benson 4.42
In the AHL, Benson finished No. 25 among regular forwards 23 and under in primary points at even strength. He is a passer. His 23 primary assists as a rookie in 2018-19 led AHL forwards 23 and under via pick224.com.
So, among centers and right wings, I think Benson will fit best with cyclers, volume shooters and puck transporters. Once inside the offensive zone, he can flourish in puck retrieval and creative passing. Among centers, Connor McDavid (8.13 shots per 60 five on five, he is the best transporter this side of Star Trek), Leon Draisaitl (6.91, the big train runs on time through the neutral zone) and right wingers Zack Kassian (6.2) and Alex Chiasson (5.81) would appear to be the ideal options. He had success in limited minutes with Josh Archibald (4.99).
Benson-Riley Sheahan-Archibald played 41:43 together, going 17-22 (43.59 percent) shot differential, 31-39 (44.29 percent) Corsi (all numbers are five on five) and 1-2 goals. Expected goals percentage for the line was 47.57 and it was 6-6 high danger scoring chances.