Zach Benson's stellar play

Zach Benson has recently stepped up for Buffalo.
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Buffalo Sabres were looking for someone to step up. They didn’t have to look far as rookie forward Zach Benson provided two assists in a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. Buffalo's win put them four points behind the final wild-card spot. It also provided a glimpse of what Benson could be for the Sabres moving forward.

Zach was drafted by the Sabres 13th overall back in June in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. After a strong preseason, Benson made the opening night roster. The last few weeks Benson has come alive in a crucial moment in the season for Buffalo.  

In March in a game against the Detroit Red Wings, Benson had a goal and two assists in a 7-3 rout of Detroit. After the game, Sabres head Coach Don Granato commented that Benson has continued to grow during the season due to his high hockey IQ and strong work ethic. 

Including in today's loss against the Red Wings, Benson has five points in the last five games. The Sabres have outscored both the Flyers and Washington Capitals 10-4 in two strong wins to start the home stretch of the year. On the final goal back on Friday night, Jack Quinn received the drop pass from Benson in the left circle. This put the Sabres up 4-2 and put the game out of reach.

Going back to November, Benson played in his 10th game of the year which kicked off his entry-level contract. If he hadn’t played that 10th game, Buffalo could’ve sent him down to the WHL.

Benson could very easily be a staple for Buffalo over the next few years. His cap hit is $950,000 through the 2026 season. With nine goals and 19 assists on the season,Benson will look to finish his rookie campaign off strong as the Sabres will play four games this week to close out the 2023-2024 regular season.