In part due to injuries, questions will remain as to whether he projects to be an above average, physical second-line winger or a bottom-six energy player.
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June 2022 – It feels like Benson has been trying to make the Oilers forever and unfortunately it is looking less and less likely that the 24-year-old becomes a regular in the Edmonton’s lineup. The positive for Benson is that he suited up in 29 games for the Oil last season, the negative is that he recorded just a goal and an assist in that time and was not given much of a chance in the top nine. His 12 points in 18 AHL games was also the worst points per game total of his AHL career. While he has not looked bad in his time in the NHL, Benson has also not been able to make much of an impact or flash much upside as a potential top-nine player. The left winger does a lot of little things right but he does not appear to have a defining trait that jumps out as NHL calibre. With his contract coming to an end after last season, time will tell if Ken Holland and the Oilers’ brass will opt to resign the Edmonton native or not. If he is resigned, it is likely that he will be tasked as a top-six forward and mentor on the Condors as opposed to a future full-time NHLer. Benson’s development has been relatively stagnant since he joined the Bakersfield Condors back in 2018 so it is likely unfair to expect a statistical jump this season. Jameson Ewasiuk
March 2021 – From a fantastic AHL rookie campaign in 2018-2019 to an underwhelming 2019-2020 season that featured most Condor players regressing – most people now seem confused as to what Benson’s potential is. The good news is he has looked quite good this season as he recorded 19 points in 15 games in the Swiss League. He then came back to North America where he has 11 points in eight games in the AHL. The Condors as a whole are rolling, so I expect him to have a season similar to his rookie campaign as opposed to last year. The disappointing thing about this season is that he was unable to make Edmonton’s taxi squad, likely due to the club’s abundance of fourth-line/NHL tweeners. Due to his average skating and master of nothing type of play, Benson has not been able to stand out and find a role in the NHL (although it was a small sample size of seven games last year). Due to Covid-19 quarantining rules, as well as the taxi squad, it is unlikely that Benson will get a chance in the NHL this season. This is disappointing as quite a few of Edmonton’s rotated bottom-six forwards have been underwhelming, at best. Benson is set to turn 23 this month and his contract expires after this season. He has done enough to earn a contract extension even just on the merit of his AHL production but his window as one of Edmonton’s top forward prospects is closing. Jameson Ewasiuk
October 2020 – Like most Bakersfield Condors, Benson saw a decline in his offensive numbers last season after the team as a whole overachieved in the 2018-2019 season. The young winger recorded a respectable nine goals and 36 points in 47 games for the Condors last year but these numbers are a little underwhelming after his 66 points in 68 games as an AHL rookie the year before. Despite the statistical regression, Benson still finished tied for second in points for the Condors while also spending time with the Oilers. In seven games with the big club last year, the left-winger recorded just one assist. The numbers are not impressive but the sample size was small Benson did show some good tools, such as his hockey sense, that could make him a top-nine forward in the future. The biggest concern is whether or not Benson has enough defining qualities and intangibles to excel in the NHL. His skating could also use more improvement as it is serviceable but not a strength by any means. The jack of all trades, master of none forward should still be considered one of the Oilers’ top forward prospects. Jameson Ewasiuk
January 2020 – The season has not gone as planned for the Bakersfield Condors as they find themselves with just 12 wins in 30 games after finishing first in the AHL’s pacific division last year. Benson, like the majority of his team, has seen a statistical regression this season but he still finds himself leading the Condors in points with 25 in 30 games. With Edmonton’s severe lack of wingers that can contribute offensively, it is a little surprising that the young winger has not been given a shot with the big club yet but management must have some kind of reservation on him. Benson’s skating could prevent him from being a top-six player in the NHL but his competitive nature and vision should allow him to contribute to Edmonton’s success in the future. Jameson Ewasiuk
February 2019 – It’s hard not to be impressed with the season that the AHL rookie is currently having. The Bakersfield Condors have won 16 games in a row and Benson has been a big part of that success. The young winger leads the team in scoring with 43 points in 50 games which is good for fourth for all AHL rookies. His 35 assists place him first in the AHL for rookies and sixth for all players. With the success that the Condors are currently having and the lack of success the Oilers are once again having, unless injuries occur, Benson will likely spend the rest of the season down in Bakersfield. Jameson Ewasiuk
December 2018 – After playing in just 183 out of a a possible 288 games for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL due to injury issues, Benson has made the jump to the AHL and hasn’t looked back. Despite only recording two points in his last six games, the young winger has tallied a promising 16 points in 21 games so far this season. The numbers are definitely encouraging with how much development time he missed in the WHL. If he continues to improve and adapt to the pro game, Benson could earn himself a call up sooner than later. The Oilers have struggled to develop prospects or even have them translate their games to the pro level so it’s an exciting time to have multiple prospects, including Benson, doing so well in their first pro seasons. Jameson Ewasiuk
June 2018 – A once highly sought after prospect, Benson has struggled to stay healthy throughout his WHL career. He was expected to be first round pick in 2016 but fell to the second round after playing just 30 games for the Giants that year. When in the lineup, Benson’s offensive ability, leadership and complete game made him a real threat for the Giants. In 58 games last season, the most games that he has played since the 2014-2015 campaign; Benson recorded a respectable 27 goals and 69 points. Due to his slowed down development from injuries and his lack of a dynamic facet that defines his game, it’s hard to predict how well the young winger will do in his first pro campaign. The potential is still there but expectations must be kept in check at this point. Jameson Ewasiuk
September 2017- The 2016-17 season was one to forget for the Vancouver Giants captain. Benson didn’t have a bad year but he was just plagued with injuries. The Edmonton-native was only able to suit up in 33 games where he managed to put up 11 goals and 31 assists. Benson missed the rookie development camp, the young stars tournament in Penticton, and the Edmonton Oilers main camp. The main focus for the young winger will be to stay healthy this year and get in a lot of games for Vancouver. Spencer Pomoty
October 2016 – Tyler has been chosen to represent the WHL in the Canada vs Russia series in November. Tyler has started the year off well with 10- points in eight games played and was named WHL Player of the Week on October 17th. Brayden Sully
June 2016 – The Oilers snared a hometown boy, paradoxically a scoring winger for blueline-deficient Edmonton. GM Peter Chiarelli must have some big moves coming to land defensemen. Benson had a decent season – totaling 28 points in the 30 games he managed to play between injuries. Can he overcome questionable skating? Mark Allan
March 2016 – Tyler Benson has undergone a frustrating 2015-16 season leading into his draft year, sustaining two significant injuries that limited him to 30 games and only 28 points. Named Captain of the Vancouver Giants as a 17 year-old, Tyler shows leadership qualities both on and off of the ice, and displays physical and mental maturity.
Benson is a strong, grinding winger who possesses both excellent passing ability and a quality shot. Strong along the wall and able to bully his way through traffic, Benson is willing to battle through to the open slot and can be difficult to handle in front of the net for smaller defenders. Benson is a capable two-way player that can be counted on to play in all situations, and has been a catalyst on a weak WHL team, though he lacks elite offensive instincts and shift-to-shift consistency at this stage in his development. Not blessed with top end speed, Benson could increase his overall effectiveness by improving his two-step quickness and keeping his feet moving at all times. – Aynsley Scott