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Nine for Nine: Will Red Wings Draft Zach Benson?

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Before the NHL draft on June 28-29, Detroit Hockey Now will review nine different players who have a chance to be selected ninth overall by the Detroit Red Wings. Today’s installment looks at Canadian center Zach Benson.

Zach Bens0n

Position: Center/left wing; Ht./wt.: 5-10, 163

Playing style: Has great instincts and a high motor.

NHL Central Scouting Rating: Sixth among North American skaters.

Country: Canada.

League: Winnipeg, WHL

Scouting Report

Benson’s ability, hockey IQ and drive are off the charts. His 98 points are the best by anyone not named Connor Bedard in the WHL. Benson is a slick performer, a memorable talent. He’s projected in some mock drafts to land in the top seven picks, despite being 5-foot-10 on his tallest day. Some scouts view him as a true difference-maker. He’s a high level passer with incredible vision and thinks three or four plays ahead. Not everyone is sold on his star potential. Others say had Benson been available, he might have gone No. 1 in the last three drafts. He’s a smart, two-way player who always seems to find the puck. Benson will end up as a productive top line performer.  Red Line Report compares Benson to Mitch Marner.

Why The Wings Will Draft Him

All the reasons stated above. Benson’s tangibles and intangibles make him a player who will have to be reckoned with once he reaches the NHL. He could be a steal for the Red Wings if he lasts that long.

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Why The Wings Won’t Draft Him

Many NHL teams, the Red Wings among them, are looking to add bigger and stronger players. His skating is a concern, too. But it’s likely the biggest reason he won’t go to the Wings is because he’ll be long gone before the ninth selection is made.