It’s time for the Edmonton Oilers to free Tyler Benson.
I am a:
Tyler Benson recall
— zach laing (@zjlaing) January 4, 2020
This isn’t the first time that I wrote about how the Oilers should look at bringing up Benson. On Dec. 14th I wrote about how a brief recall before Christmas could be a good thing to give the Oilers a look at what he could bring to the table.
And instead of it being Benson, the Oilers opted to bring up Kailer Yamamoto, who has been an absolute darling in three games since his recall. If anything, it might show the fact that Benson could be as ready as Yamamoto is.
The pair have both shown growth in their AHL time over the past two seasons. At the time of writing, Benson himself has totaled 96 points in 104 AHL games and hasn’t missed a match in the last two years.
Byron Bader created this great tool that you see a screenshot of above. It tracks a player’s production and shows what their NHL equivalency is surrounding their draft year, as well as their probability to be an NHL player. It reinforces the fact that both Benson and Yamamoto are about as ready to be NHL’ers as can be right now.
Benson has scored at a great pace in the minors and there’s no reason it shouldn’t translate to the NHL. Since Yamamoto’s recall on the 28th, Benson has scored six points in four games and is clearly trying to show he wants a recall. It’s clear, too, that he is more deserving of it than he may have ever been.
In Edmonton, the club has faltered (as I wrote about last night) in their last 14 games and are in need of a spark upfront. An inability to score, today’s win against Boston notwithstanding, outside the McDavid and Draisaitl has been a long subject of discussion and a spark from a guy like Benson might give the club a boost.
By bringing up Benson, the Oilers would have the ability to run multiple lines that could give them viable scoring threats — something the club has been trying to set up all year unsuccessfully. Edmonton has started to get more consistent production from the likes of bottom-six players Josh Archibald, Riley Sheahan, Alex Chiasson, Joakim Nygard, Jujhar Khaira and Gaetan Haas to the tune of a combined 23 points in the last 14 games.
Of them, however, the only three to produce a positive goals for rate are Chiasson (83.33), Nygard (66.67) and Haas (55.56). Bringing up a guy like Benson could push someone like, say, Patrick Russell or Jujhar Khaira — both players who have struggled this season — out of the lineup. And not only that, but it would likely serve as a warning to the other forwards who have been lackluster.
At the end of the day, the Edmonton Oilers need players that can produce offence and Tyler Benson is a player who might be able to do just that for them.
On Twitter: @zjlaing