Once I highly touted prospect in the WHL, being selected first overall in 2013 by the Vancouver Giants, Tyler Bensen has fallen slightly out of favour, mainly due to injury troubles. While he certainly isn’t in a terrible position, it was originally thought at the start of his WHL career that he would be much higher than his current position in the draft rankings. While he could sneak in as a late first round pick, he’s projected to more likely get selected in the early-mid second round.
Benson’s numbers don’t exactly scream elite scorer, for obvious reasons. You’ll notice that most quality NHL players were prolific scorers in the CHL, if that was where they came from. Benson’s first three seasons in the WHL saw him score just 73 points, a 0.74 ppg pace. Not a very impressive feat for a guy expected to dominate juniors. However, he was third amongst draft eligible WHL prospects in 5v5 goals created this season, so maybe not all hope is lost yet. He has the skill, but can it pan out is the question.
— Sean Tierney (@SeanTierneyTss) June 18, 2016
Benson certainly has some interesting comparables. When one of your closest comparables is Ryan O’Reilly, that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Like O’Reilly, Benson could end up being a second round pick, so the similarities extend beyond just their play. Even some of the lesser ones, like Rakell, Laughton, Foligno, Stajan, McGinn, Ott, Trocheck, Vey, and Sceviour, aren’t terrible players to be compared to, and it at least means you have a good chance of getting games out of your second round pick. Although, his biggest comparable is Robby Mignardi, so that’s some cause for concern.
DOES HE FIT IN WITH THE WINGS?
While the left wing position isn’t something that necessarily needs filling with the Wings, a guy like Benson certainly wouldn’t be terrible to take a shot at. However, I wouldn’t consider him with the first round pick, but if he’s still around in the second round, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for the Wings to kick the tires on him, and give him a shot. After all, there’s always something intriguing about prospects who used to be top end prospects, because they could possibly have some hidden potential left in them.