Buffalo Sabres prospect Zach Benson has looked good in eight games for the Blue and Gold. Now, he has one more chance to prove he’s worth keeping.
Zach Benson has, overall, been one of the bigger surprises this season, playing sound hockey in his first eight games for the Buffalo Sabres. Not every outing was pretty, but then again, the 18-year-old also tried to play through an injury, which defines his overall toughness.
Some may look at Benson’s four assists in eight games and scoff. But as with Owen Power’s advanced statistics showing us he’s been playing far better than most want to give him credit for in a few aspects, though to a much lesser extent. Let’s take a quick look at just how well Zach Benson has fared in his advanced stats.
Take GF% at 5-on-5, and Benson sits at 54.09, which puts him sixth on the team while his xGF% is second at 56.71. He’s also third with a GF/60 of 3.92. Finally, his xGA/60 is just 1.78 and first on the team while his xGF/60 sits at 2.34, which is 13th.
Buffalo Sabres prospect has shown he’s more serviceable than advertised
This doesn’t mean Benson has been all-world, as he’s among the lowest-ranked on the Sabres in CF/60, FF/60, His 3.33 GA/60 also isn’t great, and as you may have guessed, his CF%, FF%, and SF% could also use a lot of work.
So while Benson has shown he can excel in some areas, he’s also not faring as well in others, but over his previous two games, he’s passed the eye-test, and he has also graded well overall, snagging the highest grade of all Buffalo Sabres players in their win over Chicago via Hockey Stat Cards.
Whether Benson stays, however, will come down to how well he fares tonight against the Washington Capitals. If he enjoys an outing similar to the ones he has given us recently, he’s in. If not, then the Sabres will reassign Benson and look to perhaps recall someone like Jiri Kulich or perhaps even search from the outside.
(Advanced stats provided by Evolving-Hockey [subscription])