Cam Dineen and Tyler Benson among Group 6 players who will become unrestricted free agents this summer

Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 year ago
Both Tyler Benson and the newly-acquired Cam Dineen will be eligible to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents this summer.
As CapFriendly noted on Wednesday morning, Benson and Dineen are among the group of players who are set to reach Group 6 status following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. This is essentially a way for players who have put in multiple years of work at the minor-league level to get a chance to break through on a different club.
In order to become a Group 6 free agent, a player must meet these three requirements…
  1. The player is 25 years or older (as of June 30th of the calendar year the contract is expiring).
  2. The player has completed three (3) or more professional seasons – qualified by 11 or more professional games (for an 18/19-year-old player), or one (1) or more professional games (for a player aged 20 or older). This can include NHL, minor league, and European professional league seasons played while under an SPC.
  3. The player has played fewer than 80 NHL games, or 28 NHL games of 30 minutes or greater for a goaltender. This games played requirement is subject to pro-rating due to the shortened 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
Last year, the Oilers had two players who reached Group 6 status: Cooper Marody and William Lagesson.
Marody inked a two-year, two-way deal to join the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 draft. Lagesson was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens as part of the trade that landed the Oilers Brett Kulak ahead of last season’s trade deadline. Lagesson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes in the off-season.
While Group 6 free agents are often career minor leaguers and tweeners, there are a few instances of players breaking into the NHL with a different team. Most recently, Michael Bunting became a free agent after spending multiple seasons in the Arizona Coyotes’ system. Bunting signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs and has put up 106 points over 145 games for them since.
Benson was selected by the Oilers in the second round of the 2016 draft. A local Edmontonian, Benson made a name for himself as a teenager when he set the Alberta Bantam AAA scoring record in 2012-13 and went first overall in the WHL draft. While Benson has put up impressive numbers in the AHL throughout his career, his game hasn’t been able to translate to the NHL level, as he has three points over 38 career games with the Oilers.
Dineen was selected by the Arizona Coyotes in the third round of the 2016 draft. Like Benson, he’s put up strong AHL results but only played 34 games with the Coyotes over parts of five seasons with the organization. Dineen was traded by the Coyotes to the Oilers along with Nick Bjugstad a couple of weeks ago. He has four points in five games since joining the Bakersfield Condors.

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