Watch Vancouver Giants' Tyler Benson make splendid solo rush for his first WHL goal (VIDEO)

Buzzing The Net
Benson went No. 1 overall in the 2013 WHL bantam draft (Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press)
Benson went No. 1 overall in the 2013 WHL bantam draft (Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press)

The cliché about first career goals is they all become end-to-end rushes in the retelling. Vaunted Vancouver Giants rookie Tyler Benson will not to embellish or edit at some point down the line.  

In a veritable that-just-happened flash on Friday night, the Giants' bright young hope scored his first Western Hockey League goal by collecting the puck off a defensive zone faceoff and zipping past the Portland Winterhawks defence before roofing a backhand to beat goalie Adin Hill.

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There is so much here for the hockey-loving mind. First, the 16-year-old Benson got the puck by lifting the stick of Portland's Keegan Iverson, a 220-pound New York Rangers draft choice who is two years his elder. Then he had the acceleration to zoom past defenceman Layne Vivieros in his wake. Finally, he coolly protected the puck while being hacked and whacked as he moved in on goal and waited for Hill to commit.

It all looks like a blur, yet Benson had command of each component. That's special.


Consider that a little vignette into why Benson is at the top of all those 2016 NHL draft watch lists. It's just another log to toss on the fire that will be the debate on the merits of the Edmonton native and fellow Albertan Sam Steel, whom the Regina Pats took with second pick in that '13 bantam draft.

Benson got into seven Giants games last season, when he was too young to play full-time in the Western League. As he told Kelly Friesen before the season, choosing to stay in minor hockey allowed him to focus on improving his skating. You could say it looks like it paid off.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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