Undersized but intelligent playmaking forward who makes those around him better. He features a dynamic skill set and has the potential to be an impact player in the NHL.
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September 2022 – Benson may be undersized at 5-10 and 150 pounds, but his style of play based on intelligent off-puck movements, constant scanning, excellent edgework, and playing through pressure makes his NHL projection a very clear one, and his size isn’t a huge concern. His intelligence is his most outstanding quality. He gathers information with great frequency and consistency with excellent scanning habits, he processes this information at lightning speed, and he executes the best option he finds with great precision, whether it be on or off-puck, offensively or defensively. Benson may just shine brightest when roaming the offensive zone off the puck, searching for openings and biding his time to strike, but don’t think for a second that he isn’t dynamic and lethal with the puck on his stick because he is. Benson’s hands and edges work at the same speed as his mind, which makes him an extremely slippery, adaptable, and dangerous puck carrier. He’s also very composed with the puck on his stick, and he’s constantly scanning for passing and skating lanes to plan his next move, even when he’s under pressure. In transition, he uses his lane-finding ability, intelligence, and puck skills to enter the zone and then uses a refined delay game to cut open defenses, regularly hitting a trailing teammate with a dart of a cross-seam pass. When he hangs on to the puck, he likes to cut to the slot and either shoot from there or pass to a teammate that becomes open due to the attention Benson attracts by attacking a high-danger area.
While his playmaking is his greatest offensive tool, his shot shouldn’t be undersold. His shooting stance can be quite upright and stiff, but his release is quick and accurate. Mechanical refinement will only make it more threatening, still. These upright mechanics are a staple of his skating. Benson does not bend his knees much in his stride, severely limiting his explosiveness and acceleration. His top speed is quite decent, but especially for a player of his stature, the quickness and acceleration need to improve. His edgework provides him with a very solid foundation to build his skating on, however, and the Winnipeg Ice are a good organization that should give Benson all the resources he needs to address this weakness. Defensively, Benson uses his intelligence, edgework, and active stick to break up play and be a net positive in his own zone. There are certainly flashes of passive defensive sequences, but he generally supports his defenders by cutting off passing lanes and hounding the puck carrier. In multiple-variable defensive scenarios, Benson can puck-watch for just long enough for his man to get through on goal, but with his frequent scanning habits, this should iron itself out rather quickly. The positive in this is that Benson is unafraid of trying things; he uses his creativity along with his other aforementioned strengths consistently to push the pace and drive offense. Sebastian High
|2016-2017||Pro Hockey Hutson Selects U12||WSI U12||6||3||5||8||6||||
|2018-2019||Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep||CSSHL U15||28||6||13||19||12|||||Playoffs||5||1||3||4||0|
|Draftday Hockey Selects U14||WSI U14||7||0||3||3||-||||
|2019-2020||Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep||CSSHL U15||30||30||56||86||26|||||Playoffs||2||3||2||5||0|
|Yale Hockey Academy Elite 15s||CSSHL U16||5||1||1||2||0||||
|Yale Hockey Academy U15 Prep||John Reid Bantam||6||10||3||13||8||||
|2020-2021||Fraser Valley Thunderbirds U18||BCEHL U18||0||0||0||0||0||||