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Oilers assign Tyler Benson to Bakersfield, Neal likely to return

Josh Vold   ·   9 février 2020
It was announced on Sunday that Edmonton Oilers forward James Neal is "likely" to return to the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks, after missing the past five games with a foot injury.

Neal has 19 goals and 29 points in 50 games this season. If he's able to return to the lineup on Tuesday, he'll join an Oilers team that is stuck in a tight Western Conference playoff race. Edmonton sits second in the Pacific Division, but there is only three points separating them from ninth place in the West.

To make room for Neal in the lineup, the Oilers assigned Tyler Benson to the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League.

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Benson was called up by the Oilers on Jan.30—a day after Neal went down with injury.

After being called up he spent three games in the press box, but eventually made his NHL debut on Feb. 6. He played against the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators but we only saw a small sample of him, he played just 14:07 over the two games.

Benson is in a similar situation that Kailer Yamamoto was in, where he might bounce back and forth between the Oilers and Condors before becoming a full-time NHLer. Since being called up on Dec. 27, Yamamoto has five goals and 12 points, and it looks like he won't be returning to Bakersfield anytime soon.

At just 21 years old, Benson still has a long career ahead of him, some more time in the AHL will do him some good, and it won't be long until he finds himself a permanent role on the Oilers roster.



Benson was selected 32nd overall by the Oilers in 2016, some would say that the pick was a big steal for the Oilers, as Benson was a projected top-10 pick in his draft year, but he battled injuries for most of the season causing him to slide down the rankings.

He currently leads the Condors in scoring with nine goals and 35 points in 42 games.

In 115 career AHL games he has 24 goals and 104 points.

SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON
HOCKEY - QUIZ
In what year was the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) created?
1993
1996
2001
2005
2007
2013
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