benson capture 3

The only question surrounding Tyler Benson on draft day 2016 was health. If he had been able to play a full season in his eligible year, the young Vancouver Giants winger would have been a strong candidate for the first round—possibly the top 15 overall. As it happened, he fell to the early portion of the second round and to his hometown Edmonton Oilers. Benson’s draft +1 season has been going very well, in fact, recent production has been very strong. He was scratched the other night in Edmonton and again tonight. What is going on?

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The only question on Benson for me on draft day was health. If the Oilers had good knowledge of his health situation, that would give them an advantage at the draft table. Some NHL teams surely liked the player, but injury worries have been helping hedge bets on NHL draftees since 1969 and the first universal selection.

Benson has been quality this year, and even better than that lately. Here are his boxcars by month:

  • October: 12gp, 7-6-13
  • November: 11gp, 1-11-12
  • December: 9gp, 2-13-15
  • January: 1gp, 1-1-2
  • Overall: 33gp, 11-31-42

In his final 10 games before injury, Benson scored 3-14-17 and looked dominate in most games. Things were (and could still be) looking up for the young winger, but the two games out of the lineup have to be of concern.


The best available information comes from the left coast, and the Vancouver Sun. Columnist Steve Ewen wrote the following

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  • Steve Ewen: (Giants GM Glen) Hanlon admitted in the press release that the Giants worked in
    “consultation” with  the Oilers on Benson’s status. You can argue that
    suggests the injury could be serious. You can also argue that the Oilers
    would have someone check in on Benson no matter what, since he’s in
    their building. Source

Ewen also said the WHL club has not confirmed the issue, and that he is considered day-to-day. The Oilers haven’t made anything public at this time.

We wait. 

  • OilCan2

    Benson is easily the top forward with the Giants. They want him to play big time.

    The Oilers want a healthy body ready to hit the ice next September.

    It seems the Oilers are pushing the buttons here.

  • 24% body fat

    Good pick,

    high risk, high reward. much better than our usual high risk no reward throw away 2md rounders.

    Still wanted Raddysh on Draft day, and still do though.

    Come on kid we need you to get through this

  • Connor McFly

    All the best to Tyler Benson. For the sake of his current and future life and health ‘ hang in there’.

    Dr. McFly wonders if he may have developed adhesions from previous surgery?

  • Glass

    If it is actually injury concerns, is this the type of thing that puts the nail in the coffin when drafting? For example, if a player has shown evidence of being more prone to injury, why take the risk?

  • Maple Mousse

    While I was rooting for Edmonton to take Raddysh (bigger than DeBrincat and a RHS), and who knows maybe they asked Connor about his former teamates, I am still rooting for Benson. Hope injuries won’t limit him like Pitlick, Hamilton, etc.

    And I wonder if Edmonton might try to get both him and Jones on the Oil Kings? Medicine Hat?

    What about Bear?

    • FISTO Siltanen

      I was in favour Alex DeBrincat.

      Might be small, but looks like he can play and with, probably, another year in the AHL ahead of him drafting him would buy you 2 years with Eberle and the option to trade him and bump DeBrincat into the lineup.

    • Jaxon

      They definitely don’t want him to go to the Oil Kings, a sub .500 team this season. They’ll want Benson, Jones and Bear to go to contenders. I would say they’d want them to go a top 5 team in need of more scoring:

      (in order of who needs more scoring)
      1. Prince George
      2. Everett
      3. Moose Jaw
      4. Medicine Hat
      5. Regina

      I imagine those are the teams that the Oilers want their prospects to go to for an impact on a hopefully deep playoff run.

      Prince George recently acquired a high scoring winger, so these trades are already happening. From Moose Jaw no less. Strange trade for Moose Jaw, a contending team, to give up one of its top scorers and not get much scoring back in return.

      Everett and Medicine Hat look like good fits for Benson as they don’t have high scoring forwards but they have a decently offensive D.

      Prince George and Moose Jaw look like great fits for Bear and Jones as they have a lot of forwards producing but not much in offensive D.

      Regina may be the best most complete team with lots of offence but Benson, Bear and Jones may not land in a position to impact games and may even be 2nd liners and 2nd pair D.

      • Maple Mousse

        I only included E OK due to their standings in the Wild Card and Edmonton’s control over the situation (as owners), if that added even just a wee bit. I do agree overall with those teams. Recently read about WHL buyers and sellers (recent article).

        • Jaxon

          Totally get where you’re coming from on that one. If it is a re-injury and it is serious enough maybe the Oilers would like to make that happen (Oil Kings) so they can get the best medical help (team doctors and physiotherapists) and team trainers to get him through and past his injury woes. It depends on what they feel the priority is. If it is development without injury concerns, then I think they’ll want him on a true contender (Everett or Medicine Hat). If it is to manage his well being and try to stop the cycle of injuries and bring him closer to the team and closer to his family then maybe the Oil Kings do really make sense.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      to be honest, i wanted the Oilers to get one of Benson, RD Andrew Peeke, good 2 way RC Pascal Laberge, big wingers Cam Morrison or Nathan Bastien, tough RW Givani Smith, G Carter Hart, or yes RW Taylor Raddysh, as well as RW Cliff Pu, who they could have had in the 3rd round but passed on in their obsession with taking piles of middle of the road d-men. fact is we simply wouldn’t have had enough picks to take even 3 or 4 of these guys, especially with the Oilers wanting to win now.

  • RyanCoke

    I remember when this kid had like 146 points in 33 games. I thought he would be the next connor mcdavid. Kinda sucks seeing a promising career get put in jeopardy because if injuries.