The Edmonton Oilers have signed college free agent defenseman Matt Benning to a two year, entry-level contract, according to a team release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Benning was originally a sixth round pick of the Boston Bruins back in 2012 (175th overall) but opted not to sign with the team and became eligible for free agency on August 16th. The Bruins weren’t interested in signing him for 2016-17 and would have preferred he stayed to play his senior year in college, reports Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.
The 22 year old blueliner spent the last three seasons with Northeastern of the NCAA. Last season, he played in 41 games, picking up six goals and 13 assists to go along with 37 penalty minutes. In three college campaigns, he collected nine goals, 47 assists, and 101 PIMS in 110 games.
Benning is the nephew of Vancouver GM Jim Benning (who was Boston’s Assistant GM when he was drafted) and it was speculated that the Canucks were also interested in acquiring him. Oilers radio analyst Bob Stauffer adds that Chicago had made an offer while Benning had also visited with Los Angeles earlier this week.
It’s likely that Benning will battle for a roster spot with Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Bakersfield this season.
[Related: Oilers Depth Chart]