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Zach Benson: too small to add to Canadien core

Last week, while I was on Tony Marinaro’s Sick Podcast, the excellent Anthony Martineau was also present. You know as well as I do how well he masters the subject of hopefuls.

His work at the combine is impressive.

And now, according to him, Zach Benson is one of the top-6 prospects of the next generation. In his eyes, there’s the top-5 (Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Matvei Mixhkov, Leo Carlsson and Will Smith), but Benson isn’t far behind.

He must therefore be an option for the Canadiens.

When it comes to talent, the young man is truly impressive. He knows what to do with the puck – Johnny Gaudreau style, even.

That said, you have to wonder if he’s right for the Habs if they ever want to pass on Matvei Michkov to draft outside the top-5 in terms of talent.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to draft based on need, but it has to be part of the equation. And I wonder how far the CH should draft a winger who, according to Hockey DB, is 5’9?

Mind you, I’m not one of those who believe that John Scott is right when he says that the CH can’t win with a small core of players like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

But that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to add a 5’9 player (although he’ll probably grow a bit) to the core. And a choice like the fifth will be a player who will really be at the heart of the core.

After all, with Sean Farrell also likely to have an important role someday, seeing another little winger come to town would make it harder for the club to make the playoffs.

And that’s without counting Jordan Harris and Lane Hutson on the blue line.

The fact that Benson was the only player to talk to Anthony Martineau about the Stanley Cup does get me, though. He seems to have character, which can be important in the Montreal market.

That said, we know the Habs want big, talented, fast players. He’s not exactly imposing, and his ability to explode on skates is in question.

A small winger might be okay for a talent like Matvei Michkov (whom the Habs obviously don’t want), but is it worth it for Benson? Everyone has their own answer.

Am I saying that Benson won’t be a good NHL player? No, I’m not saying that at all. But what I am saying is that he may not be what the Habs are looking for (or should be looking for) right now. Not everyone fits.

Personally, if we have to go beyond the usual five players, Dalibor Dvorsky’s talent is what I’m looking for. But ideally, we need to make sure we draft one of the big, talented center players. That’s the most important thing, in my opinion.

In gusts

– Indeed.

– We agree.

– To be continued.

– Attention NHL fans.

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