If there’s one player who may be deserving most of some time with the Edmonton Oilers, look no further than Tyler Benson.
The 21-year-old, second-year pro is in the midst of his second year with the Bakersfield Condors putting up very respectable numbers.
— Ryan Holt (@CondorsHolty) December 14, 2019
Between last season and this, Benson has played every game for the Condors. In and of itself, that’s an achievement for a player who never played a full season in junior hockey.
Injury-plagued seasons seem to be a thing of the past for him and he’s beginning to make the most of it.
Last year Benson racked up 66 points in 68 games for the Condors — 15 goals, 51 assists. And this year, he potted seven goals and 12 assists in 24 games. He’s pacing for 19 goals this season, a definite increase in thanks to a four percent jump in shooting percentage.
He also has a five-game stint that saw him score three points in 2017-18.
And as the voice of the Condors, Ryan Holt noted above, Benson has been heating up as of late. It’s no big surprise as during his 66 point campaign last year, he really turned things on after the Christmas break.
All in all, Benson has tallied 88 points in 97 AHL games throughout his career and his NHLe based off that alone is 36 points in an 82 game season.
While only a projection, it would place him fifth among Oilers over an 82 game pace this season.
He was a near-lock to make the Oilers, Benson had been assigned to the Condors as one of the mid-camp cuts, something he surely was disappointed in.
But in an interview with The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Brown, Condors HC Jay Woodcroft said Benson took the demotion in stride and had brought forth some great work ethic.
It’s paying off.
Edmonton have six games remaining before a three-day Christmas break, and I think it would be a great time for the Oilers to recall Benson.
It would give him a nice few paycheques before Christmas and a great chance for him to show the club what he is made of. After all, he could find himself a full-time regular in the new year.
On Twitter: @zjlaing