Though Edmonton Oilers prospect Tyler Benson cracked the team’s rookie camp roster, they won’t see him on the ice for the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton.
The Edmonton native has skated but is not yet ready for full-on contact. He is still recovering from having sports hernia surgery on “both sides” this offseason, as per the Edmonton Journal, and he will likely not play during the preseason as he prepares to head back to juniors for the year.
Since being taken in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Benson has shown a lot of promise. However, there are concerns when it comes to his proneness to injuries. Not only has he been injured in his pre-draft years, but he has faced a number of ailments post-draft as well.
The 19-year-old suited up for just 33 games with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants but managed to impress in that short span, recording 11 goals and 42 points. And though his numbers are outstanding, he will have to remain healthy if he wants to make an impact at the NHL level.
Remembering the Upside
Unfortunately, it is difficult not to compare Benson to a player like Tyler Pitlick; he has a lot of offensive acumen and ability, as seen by his scoring ability. However, he is constantly plagued by injuries, which hurts his development, value and potential.
Still, when considering Benson’s NHL path, he has a bright future if he can overcome his injury troubles. The 6-foot, 201-pound forward plays a physical game and plays well with and without the puck. Also, he is a player that can take a hit, stand his ground and keep moving up ice.
Overall, there is no reason to be pessimistic when it comes to Benson. He has had surgery and is taking the appropriate precautions and steps to fully recover. Additionally, his injuries have not stopped him from putting up impressive numbers, and he still has time to develop.