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Tyler Benson to Finally Get Into Oilers Lineup

Tyler Benson will make his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers tonight versus the San Jose Sharks.

The Edmonton Oilers are preparing for a match-up with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. After a 3-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes and unable to gain any ground in a tight Pacific Division race, the Oilers are making a couple of lineup changes.

The biggest of note is that Tyler Benson will slot into the game and see his first action in the NHL.

Benson spoke to the media before the game and said, “It’s definitely been a long road but that’s what makes it more special to be at this point. I feel ready for it, I’m excited to do the best I can out there tonight.”

When he says long road, what Benson is referring to is the fact that, thanks to injuries, he’d dropped in the draft compared to where his initial projections were. From there, he’s been peculating in the Oilers AHL system for a long time, seeing others go up before him while he proves his ability in Bakersfield, all the while waiting for his call-up.

He got it three games ago but was not inserted into the lineup versus the St. Louis Blues or the Calgary Flames.

When asked if he appreciated the chance to be around the team first before being thrown right in, he said it’s been good getting to know everyone, the systems and getting to skate in practice. “I think being here for a weeks, it’s helped me,” he said.

Hometown Boy Does Good

Benson might be most excited for the fact he gets to officially wear a jersey for the team he grew up watching and that his family will be in the crowd and ready to cheer him on. He’s not sure how many, but he knows they’ll be a few.

Benson has the opporunity to do what others coming up from Bakersfield have done before him. The Oilers have done a good job this season of not rushing players. Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and especially Kailer Yamamoto have been difference-makers and while there’s not a ton of pressure on Benson to produce right away, he’s been groomed to contribute.

Related: Not-so Sure Flames Actually Dodged a Bullet With Giordano Injury News

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