This year’s NHL Draft class is incredibly deep. As such, there are players who, in other years, would go higher than they will in 2023. Zach Benson is one of those players who might just fall due to the talent around him.
Benson is far from a bad player in his own right. In fact, he is one of the better passers in the class. He is highly gifted in the offensive zone and has the potential to be a high-level point producer in the NHL.
However, there are other players who could go before him. Guys like Ryan Leonard, Nate Danielson, and Dalibor Dvorsky are similarly talented and may hear their names called before the former Winnipeg ICE player.
Many teams around the NHL could use Benson’s brand of skillful hockey in their farm systems. But which teams need it the most? Here are three potential landing spots for Zach Benson at the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Red Wings need skilled players in their prospect pipeline. And Benson certainly fits the bill. While I don't have Benson going to Hockeytown in my final NHL Mock Draft, I can still see why he'd fit the bill for Steve Yzerman.
Benson is incredibly creative and, as I mentioned earlier, one of the best passers in this class. Similar to Gabe Perreault, there is some concern that his production is mainly due to talented linemates.
However, I certainly believe Benson can shine on his own. The only downside to his fit with the Red Wings is his position. While he can play center, he likely moves to the wing at the next level. If Detroit is confident he can stick down the middle, though, this could be a fantastic pick for them.
I have linked the Penguins with Ryan Leonard, Gabe Perreault, and Matthew Wood. And the reasoning behind that is rather simple. Kyle Dubas needs to inject his team with skilled wingers.
Benson more than fits that bill. He'd immediately step in as the team's best prospect if selected. And the potential pairing with him and Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin on a line is what dreams are made of.
Benson is certainly not a perfect player, but he has a ton of potential. If the Penguins want to make sure the post-Crosby and Malkin era is in good hands, finding a way to select Benson may be a must at this point.
The Coyotes are in a prime position to grab absolutely dynamic talents in the 2023 NHL Draft. Arizona owns the sixth and 12th overall picks. Benson could be in play at either one of those selections.
The Coyotes are facing a very murky future. They do not know their long-term future in the state of Arizona as of this writing. Pressure is mounting to find a resolution in Arizona or elsewhere.
This could lead to some of their more promising talents deciding not to sign. We've already seen Logan Cooley, last year's third overall pick, decide to remain in college. And he cited the arena situation as a factor in that decision.
That's not even getting into the potential exits of existing stars such as Clayton Keller. The point is, the Coyotes need to find a way to get any sort of talent they can get. And Zach Benson is an incredible talent who could lead this team to glory once their future is finally settled.