Tyler Benson ready to make the jump to the Oilers this coming season – .

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Tyler Benson ready to make the jump to the Oilers this coming season – .


The Edmonton Oilers prospect has grown in the American Hockey League over the past three years after overcoming junior injuries and is expected to fight for an NHL roster sport this coming season.

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Tyler Benson is ready to make the jump to the NHL.

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The Edmonton Oilers prospect has grown in the American Hockey League over the past three years after overcoming junior injuries, and is expected to fight for an NHL roster sport this coming season. .

Benson, 23, signed a two-part, one-year, $ 750,000 NHL contract extension – announced Wednesday – and is ready to do whatever it takes to be a full-time member of the Oilers in 2021-2022.

“I’m excited,” Benson said Thursday. “I feel like I’m ready to take this jump and it’s going to be a lot of fun. “

Selected in the second round (32nd overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft, Benson spent last season in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors. The Edmonton product scored 10 goals and 36 points in 36 games at Bakersfield and added three more goals and five points in six playoff games as the Condors won their division in a modified format due to COVID-related concerns. 19.

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Prior to going to Bakersfield, Benson played in Switzerland with the GCK Lions, scoring two goals with 19 points in 15 games.

“Starting the year in Switzerland was a new experience for me, I enjoyed it there and I think it prepared me for the season here,” said Benson. “It got me up to speed and fit for my return to camp in Edmonton and then back to Bakersfield.

“We had a good team at Bakersfield; Personally, I felt like it was my best year in professional hockey yet and I hope to continue to build on that through the summer and camp ahead.

Benson has spent the last three seasons at Bakersfield after four years as a junior with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The Oilers decided it was better for the six-foot, 190-pound forward to spend another year in the AHL rather than with the Edmonton cab team.

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Once at Bakerfield, there was little chance Benson would be called up to play for the Oilers during the season due to COVID-19 quarantine rules.

“Personally, I believe without COVID I would have had another chance to play for the Oilers last season,” Benson said. “But there was nothing I could do about it and I can’t wait for the next opportunity. “

Benson made his debut with the Oilers in the 2019-20 season, before it was postponed by the pandemic, playing seven games and scoring his first NHL goal.

Once designated to play for the Condors, Benson took advantage of the situation. He clocked in high-level minutes and finished tied for third in league scoring.

In his three seasons with the Condors, Benson has been productive offensively. He had 15 goals and 66 points in 68 games in his first year and added nine goals and 36 points in 47 games in his second.

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“For me, I really enjoyed my first year of professional hockey, I thought it was a good year and just diving into it I had a really good season,” said Benson. “My second year, I had some ups and downs; it was probably my least favorite year of how I personally played in the three years.

“I still think the three years were good and I think last year I took what I had learned from my first two years and followed it. I think I was a more consistent player last year.

The bar has always been high with Benson, dating back to his triple A bantam days with the Southside Athletic Club Lions. Benson set a 2013 Alberta Bantam Major Hockey League scoring record with 57 goals and 146 points in 33 games. He was the first overall pick in the WHL Bantam Draft that season and played four years with the Giants.

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A hip injury and sports hernia hampered Benson throughout his time with the Giants and spent most of his time readjusting to move towards the pro level. Injuries have put Benson back on the developmental path, but he’s back on track with back-to-back seasons devoted to training.

“It’s huge to be able to train and get stronger, I missed a few years of summer training which kind of stunted my development and my journey,” said Benson. “But I think I’ve made really big progress in the last few years in the gym and on the ice.

“Even this summer, I can see the gains I made over the season that I just made. “

In Edmonton, Benson will look to place in the bottom six, with an opportunity to move up the lineup. Benson’s offensive instincts were one reason the Oilers were so high on him during his draft year, but it will be his defensive ability that will keep him in an Oilers jersey this coming season.

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“Personally, I feel like I have the ability and the play that is ready for the NHL now,” said Benson. “I have the confidence just after the seven games a few years ago. I think if I can play confidently on the ice I can be a full time player. Mentally, I wasn’t as strong as I am now knowing that I can play with these players and at this level.

Remarks: The Oilers announced Thursday that they have re-signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek for a two-year contract extension worth an average of $ 925,000 per season. Koekkoek, 27, was limited to 18 games last season after breaking his collarbone.

E-mail : [email protected]

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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