The Detroit Red Wings are prepping for their 2023 NHL Entry Draft, where they have two picks in the first round. There’s been talk of trading up and moving around the draft board. But, if things stand pat, it will be interesting to see who the team takes at ninth overall.
In one of the latest mock drafts from Bleacher Report, labeled the “final” rendition, the Detroit Red Wings are slated to take a forward. Bleacher Report has forward Zach Benson being selected with the Red Wings’ ninth overall draft pick.
Benson is a WHL product who played for the Winnipeg Ice and is someone that has been viewed as a potential scoring threat in an NHL forward core in future years. He has a 5-foot-10, 159-pound frame with good athleticism on the skates. He’s a left-handed shooting forward.
From the looks of it, he’s someone who the Red Wings would be able to get plenty of value out of, especially if the projection hits as is expected, the best-case scenario. With careful development as part of a new development staff in the minors, Benson could be really intriguing.
Detroit Red Wings select Zach Benson in a recent mock draft.
In 2022-23, Benson played in 60 games for the Winnipeg Ice scoring 36 goals and adding 62 assists for 98 total points on the season. He’s an offensively gifted player who should be able to find success working in the offensive zone.
On top of that, he may not have the largest frame or anything that really jumps out physically with size, but he’s not afraid to get dirty. He will join the forecheck and be tough on other teams with good pressure and the ability to go into puck battles.
He skates really well and can create space and gaps to produce offensive scoring chances; he’s a highlight-reel goal from the forward.
The Red Wings would surely benefit from adding another offensively gifted forward, so taking Benson at ninth overall. One big-name comparison awarded to Benson was Brayden Point, as was written about in this NBC Sports Philadelphia piece.
If Benson were to be something like Point, that would be an absolute slam-dunk victory. But, if this is the case around the internal scouting circles, and Yzerman concurs, it will be tough to pass on Benson.
Point was one of the pieces to the puzzle in Tampa Bay that Yzerman brought in during his time building a competitor in Florida., so finding a piece like that for the Red Wings to add in now would only be great. He will be an offensively gifted forward with the potential to be a big piece of a forward core.