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NHL Draft Prospect Preview - Zach Benson

Updated: Sep 11

by J.T. Toth

Photo of Zach Benson on the ice. Courtesy of Winnipeg Ice.

The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft. The lottery is scheduled for May 8th so we will have a better idea of where these prospects will be when the Pittsburgh Penguins make their first-round pick.

Name- Zach Benson

Pos- LW

Team- Winnipeg Ice (WHL)

HT/WT- 5’9” 163 lbs.

Born- 5/12/2005

Home – Chilliwack, BC

A hockey IQ is something that cannot be taught, and Zach Benson is as intelligent as any player in this draft class. Benson sees the game at a quicker pace than his opponents. He has a knack for knowing how to put the puck in an area that only his teammates can get to. A playmaker who tends to always know where his teammates will be in every situation.

Benson always seems to find the soft space in the defense and possesses the timing to get there. He skates with a low center of gravity and is tough to square up on or even slow down. He can play center as well as wing but many scouts project him as a winger in NHL.

Close-up photo of Zach Benson.

A focused kid with intense off-season work outs, Benson is as hungry as any other prospect in this draft. At 5’9”, Benson plays with a little bit of the “Napoleon Complex” and will not be intimidated or pushed around. He has an accurate wrist shot and he’s not afraid to let go from anywhere on the ice. Benson plays with defensive awareness that is rare for his age, and he is a high motor player.

Some teams may shy away from him as a smaller player but other than his frame, it is hard to find any holes in his game. As a centerman, he is not adept at winning faceoffs yet, and he will need to mature physically and add strength for the 82-game grind.

Final Analysis

Going through scouting reports and videos of Zach Benson, it is tough to find any issues with his game. He’s a team-oriented player who never quits and will be a player that any NHL’er would like to have on their roster. His size may scare some GMs, but not Draft 412.

Zach Benson is worth a top 5 pick.

Round 1- Top 5 / #4 on Draft 412 big board.

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