The Edmonton Oilers have put pen to paper with one of their 2016 draft picks as they announced that they have inked left winger Tyler Benson to a three year, entry level contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Benson was Edmonton’s second round pick (32nd overall) back in June. The Edmonton native had long been touted as a first rounder but an injury-plagued 2015-16 season (he played in just 30 games) certainly didn’t help his draft stock.
This season, Benson leads his junior team, the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, in scoring with 40 points (10-30-40) in 31 games. As has been the case with several young prospects who have signed recently, unless Benson plays in ten or more games with the Oilers this season, his contract will actually ‘slide’ a year with the team receiving a small reduction in his salary cap charge.
Other notes from around the league:
- Per a team release, the Arizona Coyotes have assigned defenseman Kevin Connauton to their AHL affiliate in Tucson on a conditioning assignment. Connauton has played just twice this month and only nine times this season as he has predominantly been the seventh defenseman for Arizona.
- Canucks left winger Alex Burrows will play in his 800th game tonight against Anaheim. All of those games have come in a Vancouver uniform and once he suits up, he’ll be only the sixth player in franchise history to play in 800 games for the Canucks. The 35 year old has been an effective bottom six player this season with 14 points (6-8-14) in 32 games and has 378 points (190-188-378) through his first 799 contests.
- The Flyers will make rookie winger Travis Konecny a healthy scratch tonight, notes Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The timing is a little strange as Konecny is coming off a two assist game but head coach Dave Hakstol wants to see his play improve without the puck on his stick. Left winger Michael Raffl will return to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game with a lower body injury and slot in on the top line while defenseman Radko Gudas is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
- The NHL has drafted two versions of the 2017-18 schedule with the uncertainty surrounding their participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, notes Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston (Twitter links). As a result, the league is no longer imposing any deadline on the decision regarding whether they will or won’t be participating. However, the IOC is still hoping for a decision by January 15th.