28-Year-Old Center – Dallas Stars
Jamie Benn Contract Information:
Signed an eight-year, $76 million extension with Dallas in July of 2016.
Benn scored on the power play and added two assists in Thursday's 5-4 win at Arizona.
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Jamie Benn: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After setting the league on fire with an NHL-best 87 points two seasons ago, Benn went out last year and one-upped himself, sketching out new personal marks with 41 goals and 89 points, and he did it despite spending 10 games without the assistance of top center Tyler Seguin. More than a full third of his production came on the power play, with only the unstoppable Patrick Kane besting Benn’s 30 points on the man advantage (although to be fair, Brent Burns and Nicklas Backstrom tied him). Of course, Benn’s pretty unstoppable himself – he rarely goes a game without finding the scoresheet, and he rounds out that offense with PIM (exactly 64 three years running) and hits (in which he just set a new career high, 156). At 27 years old, Benn’s right smack in the middle of his prime; there’s no reason he shouldn’t remain one of the league’s finest scorers for quite a few years to come, with this summer’s eight-year contract extension locking him in with Dallas well into his 30s.
Who led the NHL in points last year? It wasn't Sidney Crosby. It wasn't Alex Ovechkin. It wasn't John Tavares. No, it was Benn, the unheralded superstar, who racked up new career highs with 35 goals, 52 assists, and 87 points despite toiling away for a Dallas team that struggled mightily to win games and didn't quite get a full season out of top-line co-star Tyler Seguin. Those two will return atop the Stars' first line along with a new member, Patrick Sharp, imported from Chicago over the offseason, and there's no reason to think that Benn won't challenge 80 points this season as well, as long as he recovers in time from his April surgery on both hips. Benn is reportedly on track to be ready in time for the start of the season, so don't drop him on your draft boards.
Jamie Benn? Oh, you mean international superstar Jamie Benn. Last season, Benn revealed himself to be an elite talent playing beside Tyler Seguin in what was one of the NHL's hottest duos. He set career marks in goals (34), assists (45), plus/minus (plus-21), penalty minutes (64) and shots (279), and his star is still on the rise. The addition of Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky gives the Stars a tough second line that opposing teams will need to take seriously, and one that may draw pressure away from the Benn-Seguin line. So, look out -- this guy doesn't need much time or space to make offense happen and extra time to execute will only help him pad his even-strength totals. And the addition of Spezza to the team's power play will mean increased production there, too. Benn is poised to have a mammoth season and needs to be drafted early.
Benn struggled for large stretches last season with the added responsibilities that come with being the No. 1 center, a move made out of necessity more than anything else. It's not that he's not talented, but he's more comfortable in his natural spot on the wing. One of Dallas' offseason goals was to acquire a top-line center to allow Benn to move back to the right side and they get a big "mission accomplished" sign to hang up with the acquisition of Tyler Seguin. At 24 years of age, Benn is only just entering his prime and should eclipse the 30-goal plateau if he can stay healthy.
Benn built upon his impressive sophomore season, setting career highs across the board last year. He also took on added responsbility in the defensive zone as the season waned and Mike Ribiero proved to be a liability in that area. The (essentially) Ribeiro-for-Derek Roy offseason swap will afford Benn more minutes in the offensive zone than last year. He's far and away Dallas' best one-on-one threat and his emergence among the NHL elite figures to continue in 2012-13.
Benn's emergence last year (22 G, 34 A in 69 games) made James Neal expendable when Dallas was looking to bolster the blue line, but the departure of Brad Richards could shift Benn to a second-line center role and put more focus on him from opposing checking lines as a result. He's a young, proven goal scorer that built upon a nice rookie season and figures to approach the 30-goal plateau in his third season.
Benn was asked to shift from a wing to center early in the season and took to the move well. While the shift took him off one of Dallas' top two lines, his production never waned (22 G, 19 A). He's expected to begin the year as Dallas' No.3 center again this season, but he should be able to take a step forward in his sophomore season.
Benn enters the 2009-10 season as Dallas' best scoring prospect now that James Neal has estsablished himself in the NHL. Benn will need a monster camp, much like Neal did last season, in order to break camp with the team. Benn netted 46 goals in 56 games, good for fifth in the WHL despite missing some time for Team Canada duties. He led the WHL in scoring during the Memorial Cup (13G, 20A), and will begin his professional career this season.
Benn remains Dallas' top forward prospect, but he's expected to go back to his junior team in the WHL for another season before officially turning pro. He lead all scorers in goals in the preseason Traverse City prospects tournament.