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Friday, January 25, 2013

Kale Clague and Tyler Benson break AMBHL Records on the same night

Western Elite Hockey Prospects would like to congratulate both Tyler Benson from Edmonton SSAC and Kale Clague from the Lloydminster Heat on breaking the AMBHL scoring records for defenceman and overall points in a season.  Ty Rattie held the previous record of 131 points which Tyler Benson broke tonight with an 11 point game.  While Dion Phaneuf held the previous mark by a defenceman with 65.  WEHP has Tyler Benson and Kale Clague as the top two rated prospects for the WHL Bantam Draft in May.

Interview - WEHP with Yahoo Sports

There has been no shortage of 15-year-old hockey superstars turning heads in Western Canada this year.

The 2013 Western Hockey League bantam crop, however, doesn’t have a prospect that has clearly separated himself from the rest of the pack like last year with B. C. native Mathew Barzal, who was selected first overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds.
As it stands, it seems it is a two-horse race between Edmonton native Tyler Benson and Lloydminster native Kale Clague.
“I think it will come down to Benson or Clague for whoever has the No. 1 pick,” says a WHL scout, who asked to remain nameless. “Benson is a power forward that a team could build around, while Clague is a franchise defenceman. It’s a win-win situation at this point in terms of their potential.”
With Benson and Clague both being natives of Alberta, it seems the Oil-driven province has taken another step forward in separating themselves as the top spot in Western Canada for producing young hockey stars.
“It would be difficult to argue against Alberta being the province with the most talent, season after season,” says Tyler Boldt, manager of the WHL’s player development and recruitment. “This is shown by WHL Bantam Draft selections, as well as the number of Alberta players currently in the WHL. While each province produces excellent players every year, it seems that Alberta always has the best overall depth.”
Nearly every media outlet has put Benson on a pedestal as Western Canada’s up-and-coming power-forward sensation. Mark Spector of Sportsnet called him “the next big thing,” and writer Ryan Dittrick described him as “the real deal.”
This high praise wasn’t freely given, though. Benson earned it with his outstanding second season with the SSAC Southgate Lions in the Alberta Minor Bantam Hockey League, tallying 47 goals and 122 points in just 27 games.
The 5-foot-11, 181-pound winger, who is the brother of Edmonton Oil Kings’ Cole Benson, has the potential to blossom into Western Canada’s poster-boy superstar. He is molding into a solid frame, knows how to use his size to his advantage, and possesses uncanny offensive skill and instincts.
“Tyler Benson is most definitely a player to watch,” says Tyler Neisz, director of scouting forWestern Elite Hockey Prospects scouting service. “Tyler has a good combination of size, skating, offensive awareness, and defensive play as well. At this point, it looks like Benson has limitless potential in terms of being a star down the road. His style is very much comparable to (Chicago Black Hawks first rounder and Prince Albert Raiders captain) Mark McNeill moving forward in my opinion and should have even a higher offensive upside as well. He is more of a pass first player, but at the bantam level can definitely score when he wants to at times.”
Despite some scouts leaning towards him as the No. 1 prospect of the draft, Clague has Defenceman Kale Claguebeen somewhat overshadowed by Benson.
Clague, who has scored 28 goals and 64 points in 26 games with the Lloydminster Heat in the AMBHL, is regarded as the complete package on the back end. The 5-foot-11, 150-pounder has the gritty and fearless attitude to be a shutdown defender and the impeccable offensive instincts and skating ability to be the anchor on a power play.
“Clague has it all,” says a WHL scout. "He is a great skater, has a good shot, strong offensive instincts, and uses his body. I think he is in the same calibre as Brycen Martin (Selected second-overall by the Swift Current Broncos in 2011). He is calm with the puck at either end of the ice. This makes him very valuable on the power play and he makes smart decisions with the puck in his own end. I don't know if he'll go No. 1, but he'll be right in the mix. It would be hard to pass him up."
Behind Benson and Clague, Jaeger White stands out as one of the next best options.
Scouts have been marveling over White since he broke Portland Winterhawks star Ty Rattie’s peewee record with 124 goals and 148 points in 30 games with the Medicine Hat Venom in the South Central Alberta Hockey League. It is safe to say White was in a couple of peewee goaltenders' nightmares in 2010-11.
The 5-foot-9, 150-pound centre, who is the brother of Moose Jaw Warriors forward Torrin White, suits up for the Burnaby Winter Club in his second year of bantam puck. The program doesn’t release their stats until the end of the season, but BTN has learned the Medicine Hat native’s point production is impressive enough to drop a jaw or two. After all, he did post a 15-point game in October.
One of the most appealing aspects about White is his character with his maturity being well beyond his years. It appears he has the perfect personality to lead a team with a letter on his chest.
“Jaeger White is one of the elite players of the draft,” says Neisz. “He is highly skilled player, perhaps the most skilled player in the draft. He doesn't have the edge to his game that his brother Torrin had at the same age, but his offensive skills are definitely at a high level. He is a very personable person and has a lot of character.”
Potent notables
Sam Steel, forward, Sherwood Park United Cycle Flyers (AMBHL) –The vast majority of scouts believe Steel will be a top-5 selection this April in Calgary.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound centre is tearing up Alberta’s top bantam league, notching 40 goals and 79 points in 24 games with Sherwood Park.
Dante Fabbro, defence, Burnaby Winter Club – Some have regarded Fabbro as the top B. C. native of this year’s draft.
Fabbro has been a standout blueliner on BWC this year. He has showcased his phenomenal skating ability, puck-moving skills, offensive instincts, and a solid shot.
Brett Howden, forward, Eastman Selects (MMHL) – Howden is one of the few bantam-eligible players that made the jump to the AAA midget ranks this year.
He has showed his age-group bump was the right move for his development by being one of Eastman Selects' top players, scoring eight goals and 19 points in 25 contests.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound forward plays a very similar two-way style to his older brother, Florida Panthers first-rounder Quinton Howden.
Parker Aucoin, forward, Calgary Northstar Sabres (AMBHL) – Aucoin is a shoot-first player that has scouts drooling over his hard, accurate shot.
The 5-foot-10, 145-pound centre is the leading goal scorer in the AMBHL, notching 50 goals in 26 games, while adding 20 helpers for the Northstar Sabres.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both Benson and Clague. Pro talent for sure, hopefully they continue to grow and stay humble.

Anonymous said...

Benson actually had 10 points in his last game against Camrose to break Ty Rattie's record by the posted stat sheet. None the less an amazing accomplishment.
This does bring up the issue of ..... what is a team like Camrose and Okotoks doing in a league like this? Benson has 21 points against Camrose in 2 games this year. Camrose is made up of primarily 1st year kids (99'), with only 2 or 3 at the caliber to play in this league and only 6 or so - 2nd year skaters(98'), and only 2 or 3 of them are at the caliber to play in this league. So at the very best there are 5 kids that should be playing in this league on that team. The rest of the team is border line 'AA' at best. Some only 'A' caliber. It looks like the team has zero for coaching as they seem to generally role the lines and don't do much for line matching or any defense zone systems or any system for that matter. The team cannot compete physically at this level on the average as many kids are in the 100-125 lb range. Surely the staff had more to chose from than this group of kids. I'm sure they are looking at next year and thinking with 2/3 of the team returning they will be dominant. Think again, these kids are small and weak and don't seem to be growing. There shots are flutter's that couldn't break a pane of glass. A year like this for a team is a disgrace to the league and skews the stats for ever. Benson and Clagues accomplishments are amazing but did Rattie and Phanuef have teams like this to play against and pad there stats. Having watched alot of Elite stream hockey over the past many years ..... Camrose should really look at there elite stream teams and maybe drop down a level so the kids in the area can be competitive. This sort of year cannot be good for any of the kids on this team. Parents, coach's and Camrose minor hockey better step back and take a hard look at the situation.

Anonymous said...

howden is a great player but a little on the slow side,his skating will never be close to his brother's

Anonymous said...

Records are hard to compare, but games against Camrose make up alot of the points, like ten in a game.

be nice to see points per opposition broken down and shown.

good player

jackson crain said...

White isn't anywhere near these 2 players,late 1st rounder or 2nd.

Anonymous said...

Both boys are tremendous talents.

Anonymous said...

agreed both good players but put benson and clague in PCAHA division 1 where there are no weak teams and the numbers are more realistic. Vertannan and Barzel last two first overall picks played in this league and had impressive numbers but there were no opportunities for ten and fifteen points per game. this is not to take anything away from two very good players.

Anonymous said...

hi 945

Other than on e team everyone in PCAHA plays 15 min 15 min and they whatever is left in the ice time as the 3rd period ie 15 or maybe 13 or 18.

Some teams like Burnaby minor play a game on an hour and 1.15 slot.

AMBHL is full 3-20 minute periods.

Anonymous said...

The obvious lack of parity in the Alberta games makes the accomplishments of these two extremely talented players much less significant than most are tempted to believe.
10 points in a single game? 11 points in another? This says much more about the lack of competition than it does about Benson's or Clague's abilities.
Two great players, yes. But these "records" are just about meaningless.

Anonymous said...

No one on Camrose is 'A' level let that be clear. Camrose also has a middle of the pack 'AA' team. The Camrose AAA team is weak this year, but they were good last year with two players picked in the second round (Miske [F] and Childs [G]). Next year they will be fairly good as well. A bad year does not mean that the program is weak. Okotoks on the other hand has been dead last in the South the last four years. However, they have had a very strong AA program for quite a while. I'm not entirely sure what is going on there.

The problem is not solved by dropping the team's AAA program, but by redrawing draw zones. Westaskiwin and a few other communities should be sending their players to Camrose rather than Leduc. Travel wise and team strength wise it makes sense. In actuality Leduc draws from many areas it makes no sense for them to draw from (Edson and west of Edmonton should be going to Spruce Grove).

Anonymous said...

And what is SSAC's draw zone numbers in comparison to Camrose? For that matter what is the comparison between all the Edmonton teams? What is Okotok's draw comparded to Calgary quadrants? Any boundary changes and big brother starts kicking up sand in the sandbox. How about we kick out all the small zones and you can travel from SSAC to Calgary to play weekly. You want the kudos but love to bash.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I can't sit idle while this hogwash goes on about PCHA having parity while the AMBHL does not. Yes there are two AMBHL northern teams that get clobbered by SSAC, reminds me of PCAHA seeding round games. You also fail to acknowledge the nine other teams in the AMBHL north where SSAC has a cumulative goal differential of 155-58. If there is so much parity in the PCAHA why are there 7 NSWC games with a cumulative score of 62-2 in only 45 minutes, can't imagine what would happen if they played a full game. Not trying to but down BWC or NSWC as they are good teams, but not any better than SSAC or Lloyd.

Anonymous said...

January 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Exactly. Thats why BWC and NSWC play in this league. They can all pad their stats. They play in the same town, if they wanted real competition they would play each other more.

Anonymous said...

January 28, 2013 at 12:45 PM

We don't get clobbered by SSAC , We get clobbered by everybody.

Maybe what they should do is half way thru the season that the top 12 teams from each group and move to a group, but keep the points, then take the other 10 teams and put them together.
You would rather play be equal on both sides. The way it is now not fun for any team. Its not to hard to see who would play well against each other. Some of us know our kids are not going to the WHL, but just enjoy watching our kids play.