Welcome to the 2021-22 season review and the 2022-23 season preview player-by-player! In this and other articles, I will review the Edmonton Oilers 2021-22 season and preview the 2022-23 season. You can read about the analysis behind my analysis here.
The Curious Case of Tyler Benson.
Drafted by the Oilers in the second round of the 2016 draft, it is do or die time for the 24-year-old. This past season he stayed out of training camp with the big club, but was able to appear in 29 games this season while playing 8:33 per game, scoring one goal and two points.
He didn’t get the best opportunity to show him what he could do, but he never squandered the moment like so many people in Edmonton were waiting for him.
That’s not to say that he isn’t a talented offensive player, but he hasn’t been able to translate it largely from AHL games. Some of it has to do with his linemates, where he is backed by absolutely zero runs, and as mentioned earlier, some of that is on him.
Footspeed remains an issue for Benson, and it’s hard to imagine that at this point in his career we see him progress in that category.
Truth be told, though, Benson can be a valuable organization depth piece in the American Hockey League. In the five years there, he has scored 38 goals and 153 points in 174 games, including four goals and 12 points in 18 games this season.
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There’s not much to glean from Benson’s built-in numbers. His strength lies in his ability to limit opposing shot attempts and scoring opportunities, both at better-than-team average rates, but he is completely crushed in terms of his goal portion.
This points to a 4.58 on-ice shooting percentage that reduced his PDO to 95.8 — four points below average. When your most common classmates are Colton Sevior, the early-season rookie at Ryan McLeod, and Kyle Turris, there’s not much you can do in the way of generating offense.
Their individual impact charts show them providing defense at a rate of less than one percent of the league average and two percent of the league average. This coincides with its other underlying metrics.
The future for Benson with the Oilers is doubtful. He’ll be given the chance to club the big in Jay Woodcroft under a familiar face, and it’s totally possible.
It was interesting that Benson was reassigned to the AHL after Woodcroft came to town, but thinking back on it, it made sense. Benson is still technically a rookie in the NHL, and Woodcroft had very, very little practice time with the Oilers at any given time.
The Oilers issued Benson a qualifying offer this off-season, indicating a desire to retain him in the organization in some role.
Now, it’s up to him to take the role in the NHL.
Zach Laing is the news director and senior columnist for the Nation Network. He can be followed on Twitter @zzlaingor reach here by email [email protected]
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