Matt Benning was a curio back in training camp, a college free agent who came highly recommended. Now, Oilers fans have been through that before and sometimes things don’t work out. Benning has shown himself to be a substantial rookie, a tough cookie, and inserted himself into the conversation as part of the Oilers future. Well done, young man! Now. Are you okay????
Over the spring and summer, Peter Chiarelli signed several college free agents—Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, Nick Ellis, Patrick Russell—two of whom are in the NHL this season. Part of the package in signing appears to be guaranteed playing time, at least for Benning and Caggiula.
Edmonton is still in growth mode, we cannot forget it. If investing
at-bats in Benning and Caggiula this year gets the Oilers one useful player on a
championship team, then I am fine with the investment. One hopes we
don’t see it next year, though, because it is important to have all arrows pointing in the right direction come 2017-18.
CORSI FOR 5X5 PERCENTAGE
Benning is the top Oilers defender in Corsi for 5×5 percentage, meaning Edmonton has more possession with him on the ice. More important (and impressive) is Benning’s increasing role in terms of tough competition. Using the WoodMoney metric, here are the latest TOI/game numbers against ‘elite’ competition as defined by Woodmoney:
- Kris Russell 6.88 minutes per game
- Andrej Sekera 6.48 minutes per game
- Adam Larsson 6.27 minutes per game
- Oscar Klefbom 5.73 minutes per game
- Matt Benning 5.13 minutes per game
- Eric Gryba 4.17 minutes per game
- Brandon Davidson 3.97 minutes per game
- Darnell Nurse 3.91 minutes per game
My sincere thanks the GMoney and Woodguy for sharing this information, I think it is very valuable. Soon, these men will publish their numbers publicly and I promise to pass along. Information above (Corsi) via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com.
When Benning is playing those tough minutes against the elites, he rings in a 49.7 Corsi for 5×5 according to WoodMoney—a cracking total for a flat out rookie.
Last night Benning got rocked in the Carolina game, leaving early and we wait for news. The Oilers have a real gem here, young Benning is a rookie in name only based on his performance. Will we see a callup today? Could Benning return to the lineup tomorrow? We wait.
The Oilers have recalled Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart this morning, and placed Jujhar Khaira and Benning on IR.