Flyers Draft Profile: Zach Benson

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2022 NHL Entry Draft
Hockey team participate during the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday, July 8, 2022 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Zach Benson is another highly-ranked forward heading into the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. He is the sixth-ranked skater per NHL Central Scouting and ranked eighth via Bob McKenzie.

Benson was dominant with the Winnipeg Ice in the WHL. He scored 98 points (36G, 62A) with a+68 rating. Benson was the third highest scorer in the WHL during 2022-2023. In the pursuit of the Ed Chynoweth Cup, Benson scored 15 points (6G, 9A) in 12 games with a +5 rating. The Ice are tied, 1-1, in the Ed Chynoweth Cup Finals with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

He reminded observers that Connor Bedard isn’t the only electric forward in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft class from the WHL.


Standing in at 5’10” and weighing 159lbs, Benson can play C and LW. A relentless forechecker despite not being the strongest player on the ice, his hockey IQ and awareness are impressive. Benson knows where to be before a play and sets up his teammates with creative passing.

Benson is composed under pressure. Instead of getting too cute with a fancy move or overthinking a decision, he usually makes the simple pass to create more scoring chances in volume.

Without the puck, Benson creates space for his teammates to move in the offensive zone.

He is deadly accurate with a dangerous shot. His quick hands and sniping shot make him a nightmare for opposing defenses to contain. If he can take a shot in space, goaltenders will feel isolated.

His size allows for Benson to slip past defenders as an elusive skater. Incredibly light on his blade edges, he is agile and accelerates quickly. He is one of the best skaters in all of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft class, showing similarities between Johnny Gaudreau and Brayden Point.


Benson can get ahead of the play; out of direction when the puck changes direction, due to his speed and willingness to get a jump on opponents. His defensive positioning is susceptible to overcommitting.

He isn’t the most reliable two-way player, where his game is suited for offensive production. At the NHL level, under John Tortorella, Benson will need to improve his two-way game to maximize his potential in a Philadelphia Flyers lineup.

Clearly, Benson is undersized. His speed and shiftiness make up for it, like Gaudreau, Point, or even the new GM of the Flyers, Daniel Briere in his playing years. Adding size will help, and it’ll happen when training with an NHL franchise. Once Benson makes the jump to the NHL, he’ll make more sense at LW than C.

13 April 2008: Washington Capitals goalie Cristobal Huet (38) of France stops a shot in the 3rd period taken by Philadelphia Flyers center Daniel Briere (48) of Canada in the Eastern Conference NHL quarterfinal playoff game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Flyers defeated the Capitals 2-0 in the second game of the Eastern Conference NHL quaterfinal playoff game to even the series.

Does he fit Philadelphia?

The Flyers need more talent at LW and they’re in desperate need of a game-changer. Benson fits both of those bills. In the WHL, Benson took over games. He has the potential to become an elite-level NHL player if development goes to plan.

Benson will be on the board, ready to be selected seventh overall when the Flyers are on the clock. Needing a game-breaker, Briere can decide to draft Benson next month.

(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)