If Tyler Benson had been healthy last season, there’s a good chance he would’ve been a first-round draft pick.
But he wasn’t healthy. Far from it. Thanks to surgery in September to remove a cyst near his tailbone, and then an inflamed pubic bone, he ended up playing just 30 games for the Vancouver Giants.
And so his draft stock fell, and he was eventually taken 32nd overall by the Edmonton Oilers.
We only mention this because the Oilers announced today that they’d signed Benson, an Edmonton native, to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old forward is currently enjoying a much healthier season in the WHL. He has 40 points (10G, 30A) in 31 games for the Giants.
Benson admitted in June that it was frustrating being hurt in his draft year.
“I would have liked to see how things would have went,” he told The Province newspaper. “It would have been fun to prove myself out there.”
But getting selected by his hometown team wasn’t such a bad consolation prize.
“Definitely kind of makes it worth it,” Benson said, per NHL.com. “Pretty special moment for me to put on this jersey and I’m pretty happy.”