The Buffalo Sabres struck gold in the 2023 NHL Draft when Zach Benson freefell right to them. And he’s already impressing fans in the WHL preseason.
Buffalo Sabres prospect and top draft pick Zach Benson would look nothing like Tage Thompson if the two stood alongside one another. And one reason Benson may have fallen in the 2023 draft is the fact he’s barely 5’10, compared to Tage’s 6’6 frame.
But that doesn’t mean Benson can’t pull off similar feats on the ice, something he showed us during development camp. During those four days in July and the French Connection Tournament, Benson was easily the best player on the ice, giving us a preview of what to expect when he eventually makes it to the NHL.
But in last night’s preseason game, Benson, playing for the WHL’s Wenatchee Wild (formerly the Winnipeg Ice), brought out his inner-Tage Thompson with an incredible goal. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out below and prepare for something unforgettable:
Buffalo Sabres prospect fooled everyone with a remarkable move, second effort
Benson showed off some outstanding skating on this play, outpacing everyone before he took control of and drove the puck between the circles and right in front of the crease. Any average player would have taken their chance here to drive it home, but Benson made a move comparable to something Tage does on an almost nightly basis in the NHL.
He looked as though he were going to take it right before he cut left right when the goaltender bit, leaving a wide open net. Ironically enough, the opposing goaltender initially blocked the shot, but Benson gave us another incredible trait that Tage also gives us: Sound on-ice awareness.
He immediately saw that the shot was blocked, but he was fast enough to generate a second chance for himself. And that immediate recognition was all it took for him to beat the goaltender and put Wenatchee on the board.
Overall, it was a remarkable play for Benson, who showed off elite characteristics in three different ways in a single sequence. Look for more of this to occur when he eventually finds himself in Wenatchee for what should be an incredible season.