The Buffalo Sabres officially signed Zach Benson to a 3-year, entry level deal. Benson was the 13th overall pick of the 2023 draft. The 18 year old forward from Chilliwack, British Columbia played three season with the Winnipeg Ice in the WHL. Benson finished 3rd in the league in overall points in the regular season, behind Chase Wheatcroft (107), and Conner Bedard (143).
Over his WHL career, Benson played in 172 games (including postseason) for the Ice. Benson scored 87 goals, had 134 assists, and averaged 1.28 points per game. In his last season, Benson tallied 36 goals and 62 assists through 60 games. In the playoffs, Benson scored an additional 7 goals and 10 assists in 15 games. Winnipeg would make it all the way to the WHL Finals, but fall 4-1 in their best of seven series against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
As Zach Benson signs with the Buffalo Sabres, he’ll be playing alongside a familiar face. Former line mate Matthew Savoie was drafted by Buffalo as the 9th overall pick of the 2022 draft. When asked about the dynamic between the two of them, Benson said, “Me and Sav played the whole year together on the same line. Now to be sharing the same NHL jersey, it’s pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to it.” Savoie had also played for Winnipeg the last three seasons, and spent some time in the USHL playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints during the 2020-2021 season. Last year in the WHL, the duo of Benson and Savoie contributed 74 goals for Winnipeg, who lead the league in Goals For by the end of the regular season.
When the Sabres drafted Zach Benson, General Manager Kevyn Adams said, “He’s a special hockey player. He’s intelligent. He’s extremely diligent on both sides of the puck. His offensive numbers are pretty elite, but he’s also very responsible defensively.” With Benson’s signing, Buffalo is eager to see what their young prospect can do for the blue and gold.
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