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Fantasy Summary

An instinctual producer who thrives as a two-way threat. A powerful stride drives his overall game.


Observations

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February 2022- Beniers is currently leading the University of Michigan in scoring, sitting with 16 goals and 20 assists in 28 games.  This is as we expected for Beniers. He should be rostered in any keeper leagues with a minors system, as the Kraken certainly could use him on the team. When he is deemed ready to make the NHL, he has the ability to become a top-six producer. Alex Wyatt

October 2021 – Beniers has returned to the powerhouse University of Michigan, along with fellow top draft picks Owen Power, Luke Hughes, and Kent Johnson to dominate the NCAA for another year. He had an assist on the first goal of the year for the Wolverines, scored by Kent Johnson. Alex Wyatt

July 2021 – Beniers became the first draft pick in Seattle Kraken history when they selected him with the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard

March 2021 – Michigan’s NCAA Tournament came to a premature end before they even played a game. Having been able to keep COVID out of the locker room in the new year, Michigan had to pull out of the tournament the day of their first game due to health and safety protocols. Matthew Beniers had a very good season that has earned him the right to be in the discussion for first overall. He may be the safest pick in the draft class, safely projecting as a solid two-way center who can drive play positively and make his linemates better. He may not have true number one center upside but there aren’t many players who project as top-line centers or number-one defenders in this draft class. Beniers seems to have the knack for generating offense for himself and his teammates with an elite hockey sense and the requisite skill to make just about any play. Balancing intelligence and skill with his ability to utilize his teammates should make him a solid top-six center at the NHL level. Tony Ferrari

February 2021 – It could be argued that no prospect has increased their stock in this unusual season more than Matthew Beniers. He has excelled as a two-way threat for the University of Michigan in the NCAA as a first-year draft-eligible, racking up 13 points through his first 14 games as a freshman while consistently driving play for his line. When team USA was forced to adjust their plans for the World Juniors due to certain players being unavailable, it was Beniers that was thrust into a larger role and he did not disappoint. He brought energy, creativity, and attention to detail all over the ice while playing big minutes for the gold medal-winning American squad and finished the tournament with one goal and two assists in seven games.

Beniers is a coach’s dream who already plays a very mature, responsible game – and not just for his age. He is an outstanding skater with a powerful stride and quick shift ability that allows him to dice through defensive coverages and transport pucks through the neutral zone. Working hard is a skill and Beniers is elite in that regard with a motor that is always running high. He takes intelligent routes in puck pursuit and has the tenacity to be disruptive on the forecheck while also understanding when to back off and take a more conservative approach. Beniers is a heads-up playmaker who is more likely to make the smartest play with the puck rather than the flashiest play, but he can make creative passes under pressure when needed. He may not have any singular overwhelming skill and perhaps lacks the elite offensive upside of some other top 2021 draft prospects, but he might also have the clearest NHL projection. His all-around skating ability as well as his advanced awareness and strong work ethic should help him become an effective two-way center at the NHL level relatively soon and there is still plenty of runway for his offensive game to blossom even further. Beniers should be one of the first names off the board when draft day rolls around and has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone for whichever team is fortunate enough to land him. Nick Richard

November 2020 – The 18-year-old American has been on the radar for years. As a 16-year-old, he was skating alongside Jack Hughes and Oliver Wahlstrom on the U18 USNTDP’s top line. He was at the U18 World Championships that year as well. As a late-2002 born player, he’s been afforded the opportunity to play up a level on a consistent basis. That has maintained as he skates for the University of Michigan for his draft-eligible campaign. A responsible pivot who brings his fair share of play creation, he will be an ideal potential selection for many organizations. Amongst his NCAA cohort, he currently sits third for U19 skaters, and second for draft-eligibles with five points in six games. It’s a strong start for what should be a highly productive collegiate career. Expect him to play a strong depth role for the Americans at the upcoming World Junior Championships. Cam Robinson

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 8.5
NHL Certainty 9.5
Country USA
Position C
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth November 5, 2002
Height 6‘2”
Weight 175 lbs
Drafted 2021 Round 1; Overall: 2

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2011-2012 Boston Jr. Bruins Brick Invitational6 1 56 2|        
 2014-2015 South Shore Kings PWQC Int PW3 1 01 2|        
 2017-2018 Milton Academy USHS-Prep23 11 1627 -|        
  Team Royal USA-S152 1 01 -|        
  Cape Cod Whalers 16U AAAMHSL U168 7 512 -|        
 2018-2019 USNTDP JuniorsUSHL33 11 2031 12|        
  U.S. National U17 TeamUSDP42 10 1323 16|        
  U.S. National U18 TeamUSDP20 8 1220 8|        
  USA U17WHC-175 2 13 6|        
  USA U18WJC-187 2 02 4|        
 2019-2020 USNTDP JuniorsUSHL16 7 916 10|        
  U.S. National U18 TeamUSDP44 18 2341 24|        
 2020-2021 Univ. of MichiganNCAA24 10 1424 0|        
  USA U20WJC-207 1 23 2|        
  USAWC6 1 12 2|        
 2021-2022 Univ. of MichiganNCAA37 20 2343 16|        
  Seattle KrakenNHL10 3 69 0|        
  USA U20WJC-201 0