Former Edmonton Oilers forward Tyler Benson signs with AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing2 months ago
Tyler Benson is heading to the desert and his time with the Edmonton Oilers is up.
The 2016 second-round draft pick never quite panned out in his hometown, and will now look to continue what has been a solid pro career with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights. It’s a one-year, AHL contract for Benson, who will now play in the Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights’ system.
Benson, 25, was drafted by the Oilers as a highly touted prospect from the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. While the injury bug hit him in junior — and unfortunately followed him his pro career — Benson was never able to seize the opportunities that came in the NHL.
Heading into this offseason, he was a group six unrestricted free agent.
In total, Benson will have played just 38 NHL games with the Oilers having scored one goal and three points.
The majority of Benson’s time in the NHL came during a 29 games during the 2021-22 season that saw him score all his lone goal, and another assist. He averaged just 8:33 in time on ice per game, and it was clear that at 23-years-old, there might not be an NHL’er here after all.
For Benson, his skill set never failed him. After all, he’s spent parts of seven seasons with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors where in 217 games, he’s scored 43 goals and 176 points and enters this next season as the second highest scorer in franchise history. He trailed only Josh Currie, who scored 188 points in 297 games.
His biggest issue was his seeming inability to keep up with the pace at the NHL level. One of his bigger concerns coming out of his draft was his footspeed, and it’s likely what prevented him from playing a larger role in the NHL up to this point. In the same breath, Benson’s opportunities in the NHL saw him forced into a depth role largely on the Oilers’ fourth line rather than being in an environment with skill player that he could succeed in.
Nonetheless, Benson has been able to carve out a solid pro career at the American League level, and there’s nothing wrong with that for a player who holds the single-season scoring record in the Alberta Bantam hockey ranks — one that stands to this day.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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