Loui Eriksson might be the Dallas Stars’ “best-kept secret,” but Jamie Benn is their most exciting talent.
Considering his age, the Jaromir Jagr signing and some other factors, there’s some reason to believe that Benn could make a Claude Giroux-type leap next season.
To the chagrin of many onlookers, the Stars elected to keep Benn on the second power play unit for most of last season. Some might argue that decision partially explains Dallas’ sputtering man advantage.
While Derek Roy could complicate things, the Mike Ribeiro trade should allow Benn to cement his place on the top unit – and enjoy the easier points that come with that.
Passing the torch
Much like Philly jettisoning Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to promote Giroux, it should be clear that the Stars are Benn (and Eriksson’s) “team” now.
It’s hard to imagine Benn staying at just 18 minutes per game next season.
Giroux made huge leaps between ages 22-24. Benn’s development hasn’t been as dramatic, but he just turned 23 himself.
That means he’s just entering his prime. That progression – and perhaps better health – could trigger some impressive numbers.
(Of course, the Stars still need to sign Benn to a new contract for any of this to matter.)