Oilers’ Benson in very select AHL rookie company
Tyler Benson is more concerned with the Battle of the Birds — Bakersfield Condors vs Colorado Eagles — in the first-round of the AHL playoffs, but his first pro regular-season was a dandy.
His 66 points in 68 games was second among AHL rookies this year with five-foot-nine, 167-pound Syracuse centre Alex Barre-Boulet getting 68 in 74 games.
To put that in the proper perspective, only five rookies in the last 10 years have had as many or more than Benson’s 66.
80 – Cory Conacher (Norfolk), 2011-12
68 – Tyler Johnson (Norfolk), 2011-12
68 – Barre-Boulet, 2018-19
67 – Tim Kennedy (Portland Pirates), 2008-09
66 – Mason Appleton (Manitoba Moose), 2017-18.
Johnson is the only star who went from the minors to the bigs and kept it going.
Conacher has played 189 NHL games with 74 points. Kennedy 162 games and 39 points, so their outstanding freshmen AHL seasons didn’t translate to the NHL. Appleton played 36 games for the Jets this past season. Barre-Boulet didn’t get a look with Tampa this year.
On Twitter: @NHLbyMatty
Author: Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal