Place of Birth
Beniers had a fantastic showing in Michigan’s second consecutive victory over Arizona State, as the freshman forward skated away with a primary assist in the Wolverines 3-0 win. Beniers played in all situations for Michigan during his 17:03 of time-on-ice, skating on the penalty kill, powerplay, and as both the 4th and 3rd line center throughout the game, receiving a promotion midway through the game after John Beecher went down with an injury. His game is defined at both ends of the ice by his elite hockey sense; Beniers is able to read and process the play incredibly well, constantly adjusting his positioning and moving around the ice in order to support pucks and give his teammates options at both ends of the ice. While handling the puck, Beniers has fantastic vision, allowing him to weave through coverage and find open pockets of ice, and often displays great playmaking ability and can deliver the puck to teammates through open seams in the offensive zone. Beniers is constantly looking to feed pucks into high-danger areas on the ice and isn’t afraid to play the net-front as well to make himself available for scoring opportunities. Beniers was very impressive on his feet in this game, both in strength and mobility. Oftentimes Beniers’ stride was smooth and effortless, allowing him to pull away and evade checkers with relative ease, while also showing occasional flash in his puck skills to beat defenders one-on-one. Beniers appeared to be quite strong on his skates and was willing to absorb checks in order to protect pucks from opposing defenders, and in turn, this made him a very effective player on the cycle below the dots in the offensive zone. Beniers split time the past couple of seasons with the US Development Program between center and wing, and in this game, Beniers showed himself incredibly capable of playing the center ice position. Beniers did struggle in the faceoff dot, winning just above 40% of his draws, but he appeared to be incredibly comfortable at the center position and seemed to be a natural fit for the spot. Beniers saw the ice fantastically well in both zones, committed to his own defensive end, assisted his defensemen in clean breakouts, and displayed very good puck distribution skills – all aspects you would love to see in a future top 6 center at the pro level.