Oilers Sign Tyler Benson, Halak on Waivers | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Oilers Sign Tyler Benson, Halak on Waivers

The Edmonton Oilers have signed their second-round 2016 draft selection Tyler Benson to his entry-level contract today, keeping Benson in the fold for at least three more years.

Photo courtesy of the Edmonton Sun

Over at thehockeywriters.com — where I am a regular contributor — I wrote the following about Benson.

If you don't know Tyler Benson, you should try to remember his name. Benson was taken No. 32 overall in last year's NHL entry draft by the Oilers and he's on fire in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants. In Friday's contest, he scored a hat-trick including an overtime winner. 
There was some concern over Benson's health in his draft year and that's why he slid to the second round and became available to the Oilers.  Edmonton took a chance on him and it looks, so far, like it's paying off in a big way. 
Benson won't see any time with the Oilers this season, but he's a prospect worth watching. He was highly touted all the way up to his most recent season when injuries struck. Benson could be the steal of the 2016 NHL draft and the Oilers may have another dynamic winger in their system.  
The best news for Oilers fans is that Benson is starting to find consistent scoring and looks to have rebounded from poor health issues that plagued his career. He's an excellent passer who has great vision and good hockey sense. He projects to be a top-six forward in the NHL.

Jaroslav Halak

A goaltender who was once caught up in the debate about who was better in Montreal — Carey Price or Halak — is now on waivers and available for pickup by any NHL team. To do so, they'd need to take on his $4.5 million dollar contract for this season and the next.

It's this issue that doesn't seem to make Halak a fit in Edmonton. The Oilers only have about $4.5 million in cap space and will need other items if they do in fact make a run for the playoffs. That cap space could be valuable and there is no guarantee that Halak can be moved at the end of the season or picked up in the expansion draft.

That said, if Halak clears waivers and the Oilers could make a trade with the Islanders keeping some of his salary, there may be a fit. 

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