Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: F Tyler Benson

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Perhaps the best-known prospect to us in Van City, here is Vancouver Giants captain, forward Tyler Benson!

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Name: Tyler Benson

Position: Left Wing / Center

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’0″, 201lbs

Team/League: Vancouver Giants, WHL

Stats (from






30 919 28 46 0

NHL CSS Ranking: 24th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-six forward

Draft Range: Late First – Middle Second Round

Scouting report

"“A powerful kid who uses both his brains and skill to outplay his opponent. He has some skating issues that will need work, but is hard to contain down low and can really be dangerous deep in the offensive zone. He just owns the boards, protects the puck and wills himself to win most one-on-one battles. His shot is pro caliber, and he needs little space or time to put the puck in the net.” (Future Considerations)"


Tyler Benson is an elite offensive player who has the hockey mind of a pro. He sees passing lanes that he can exploit with his  well-established vision and his accurate passes make him a constant threat in the offensive zone. Though his body is not the biggest one by any means, Benson is a solid checker on the forecheck, too. He has a thick build like that of Canucks’ own Emerson Etem.

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His shot, while not as hard as that of a Patrik Laine or Auston Matthews, is quick and lethal. His hands, while not flashy, are deft and capable of making the plays that need to be made. The passing, though, may be the biggest asset. His ability to adjust to the dynamics of the ice and constantly find new options in response to the opposition defense is one of the best, if not the best, in the WHL this past season.

But that being said, it is hard to classify Benson as just your everyday sniper or playmaker. He is just the complete offensive player who can control the pace of the play with the shots, the dekes, and the passes. He also can throw his weight around quite a bit.

Although the point production may not be the most attractive one, consider the lack of success the Giants have had over the course of the season and the fact that he has played with a lingering injury in the few games that he was able to play. There is more to Benson than just the points.

GM Jim Benning would also like the leadership that Benson brings despite his age.


The biggest, and perhaps the only, issue in Benson’s game is his lack of speed. Although a fluid skater with above-average skating abilities, Benson’s skating is strong but not as quick.

As noted, his hitting can cross the line. He loves to play with an edge, however, and better decision-making will surely come as he matures as a leader and a forward.

But the biggest X-factor for Benson is his injury. His groin is the latest part of him to suffer, which came just as Benson was returning from a surgery to remove a cyst from near his tailbone. This has led to inconsistency in his game as well as the lack of playing time. As a result, Benson has fallen off the rankings big time from the beginning of the year.

Lastly, Benson would become more brilliant of a player if he learns how to take the spotlight with confidence and a bit of the star’s ego. He is capable of much more, as many believe.

Final Thoughts

Once deemed a potential top-ten prospect at this year’s draft, injuries to Benson have the NHL scouts pushing him down as low as the late second round. But as far as pedigree goes, Benson was also deemed one of Alberta’s best scorers at the Midget level. He still is, and he has added strength and grit to his game, too.

Benson will exceed expectations as a scorer, a playmaker, and a power forward should a team pick him in the second round. The only issue, again, would be his injury status. Benson, however, feels pretty confident about his rehab, according to this article from The Province. Benson projects to return to the ice after the NHL Combine, which is just three weeks before draft day.

Teams should know what Benson is capable of. He possesses elite-level offensive skills and while not flashy, he does what is necessary to propel plays to success. He does so by his superb hockey IQ that is highlighted by a vision and dynamic decision-making abilities. His stick does not let his hockey senses down as it can shoot, pass, and pick the opposition’s pockets.

At the end of the day, do the Canucks draft Benson if he is available at 33rd overall, where Vancouver would have the early second-round pick? Provided that the Canucks draft a left winger (perhaps a Benson-like LW-C hybrid in Pierre-Luc Dubois) with the top pick, would they look to draft a defenseman instead?

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

Or will the Edmonton Oilers take the Alberta-native with their second-round pick at 32nd overall? With so many things up in the air, Benson will have to fight through mounting frustration as he awaits his name to be called on June 24th.