Just Who Is Ben Betker?
- Updated: August 30, 2013
Ben Betker was selected in the 6th round of the 2013 entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers. At 6’5″ and 200 lbs, the expectation is that this left shot blue-liner, will bring a physical game to any team that he suits up for. We certainly saw that with the Everette Silvertips this past season; and if you weren’t able to watch it in action, just go to Hockeyfights.com, and once you search his name you will see what I am referring to. As one of the last pieces in a trade that sent 1st round pick Seth Jones to the Portland WinterHawks, he’s a big body that loves to deliver hits, and punish the man with the biscuit. But, is there more to his game than just braun?
Pros And Cons
There’s no doubt that this is a kid, who, if the time is right can come in and change the pace of a hockey game, but what about the other parts of his game? I can tell you that he is not a very strong skater, he often looks as though he is trying to re-position himself on the ice. As a defenceman, you can only get caught with your pants down so many times. He has a hard shot, but it’s not an accurate one. He seems to be unsure when firing from the point, and sometimes will risk a pass to one of the forwards, rather than line up a good clapper. His passing is either marvelous or abysmal, and he has no hope of scoring on a break. With all that I just listed, it’s hard to imagine that the Oilers would take a chance on a defenceman with a lot of downside, given the appearance of their current roster, but maybe he sees some potential. A lot of Ben Betker’s issues are fundamental ones. His two-way game is lacking, but for a defenceman, he plays strong defensively. We have seen defencemen in the past, make a name for themselves the minute they found the coach that helped them iron out some of their flaws. Let’s face it, the defenceman’s job is ultimately to stop the puck from going in your net, and that is something he has the ability to do.
Hope For The Future?
If Ben Betker finds a system that is very adept at allowing their young defensive prospects to flourish in the minors before giving them their NHL tryout, he may have a chance to scratch the surface. Is that in Edmonton? Maybe. Given the amount of depth MacT added to the roster this offseason, you would think that maybe the Oilers are trying to model the Red Wings system a bit ,when it comes to the blue line, and allow development to happen naturally. If the Oilers give him ample opportunity to work on all aspects of his game as he finishes his career in the juniors, and as he transitions to the AHL, he may be a candidate to make the roster in several years. Personally, I just don’t see the Oilers being in a position to wait out those several years along side him. I think this is a classic example of a defenceman being drafted to an NHL organization, and being traded, sold or released before any return can be identified.
Although it would be nice to see a big guy like Ben Betker throw down in an Oilers jersey, I don’t think we will ever have the privilege of watching it.
Here’s a little taste of what that might look like…
Feel free to disagree with me on twitter (@Jthompson2380)