The Edmonton Oilers will send another young forward overseas, loaning Tyler Benson to GCK Lions of the Swiss League. Benson, who received his first opportunity at the NHL level this season, was included on the team’s roster for the return to play postseason but will now take his talents to Switzerland’s second tier for the time being.
Benson, 22, is different from many of the prospects that have been sent overseas, as he already has two full professional seasons under his belt. The 32nd overall pick from 2016 has already become a star for the Bakersfield Condors, recording 105 points in 120 regular season games since debuting in the AHL. While he’s not a huge goal scorer, his offensive creativity and playmaking ability is almost unmatched at the minor league level.
The biggest question for Benson will always be his below-average skating ability and whether or not it limits him at the next level. That will have to be answered in his next NHL opportunity, but for now, he can go and continue to work on his explosiveness and two-way game in the structured Swiss system. Given that he’ll be playing in their second league though, you can bet that Benson’s offensive ability will shine through.
While the release does not indicate his return date, Benson is likely to get a shot at cracking the NHL roster whenever camps open. On the last year of his entry-level deal, he’s earned an opportunity with the Oilers.