We took a bit of an extended break, but from now until the draft we'll be counting down the top 20 prospects in the Dallas Stars organization. We continue today with #16, Jordie Benn.
Defenseman / Texas Stars - AHL
July 26, 1987
Hometown: Victoria, BC
|2009-10 - Allen Americans - CHL||45||9||9||18||-||55|
|2010-11 - Texas Stars||60||2||10||12||-2||39|
|2011-12 - Texas Stars||62||9||23||32||-9||33|
|2011-12 - Dallas Stars||3||0||2||2||+1||0|
For many people, Jordie Benn wasn't even on the radar for top Stars prospects this time last summer. The undrafted older brother to Jamie Benn, Jordie had worked his way up from the CHL to the Texas Stars in Austin but was likely seen as just another depth signing by the Stars AHL affiliate.
Jordie Benn had a decent year in 2010-11 in Austin but it was this past season, with an increased role and time on the power play, that he really started to hint at his true potential.
A positionally sound defenseman with good size and the willingness to be physical along the boards, Benn is also confident with the puck and possesses a quick and accurate pass out of his own zone. He'll never be considered an offensive guru from the blue line, but Benn showed he's much more than just a one-dimensional defenseman who is solid in his own zone.
It is because of this ability to be a well-rounded defenseman on the ice that made Benn one of the few defensive callups in the middle of the season, making his NHL debut against the Red Wings. Benn played 16 minutes in that game and looked far from out of place among the NHL players around him, and even registered his first career assist. What really stood out about Benn's three overall NHL games this past season was just how calm he was with the puck and how it seemed impossible to pressure him into a bad decision.
Benn won't overwhelm anyone with incredible physical attributes, but he certainly possesses above-average hockey intelligence and the maturity to use a strong work ethic to go from undrafted defenseman to NHL player in just a few short years.
While Benn certainly doesn't have the ceiling or potential of prospects like Patik Nemeth or Jamie Oleksiak, it's likely that Benn is not only given the chance to make the NHL team out of camp but will likely be one of the first callups to the NHL should the need arise.
At his highest potential, Benn could become a solid 6/7 option for an NHL team, but it's interesting to think where he ranks in organizational depth once the young defenseman start pushing for NHL playing time. In the meantime, Benn presents a very intriguing AHL/NHL option for the Dallas Stars while the young players receive much-needed experience in Austin.