#2: Zach Benson, Left Wing, WHL
A popular mock draft pick for the Nashville Predators with less than three weeks until they’re on the clock at Bridgestone Arena is Zach Benson.
Benson has top-10 offensive talent in a draft class that is loaded with it, but he slides back for many scouts because he’s undersized at 5’10”. He didn’t let that hold him back, which really makes him an intriguing prospect for the Predators to consider at the 15th pick.
Despite being undersized, Benson piled up an astounding 98 points in the 2022-23 regular season for the Winnipeg Ice of the WHL. He added another 17 points in the playoffs.
Benson is ranked top-10 by many scouting websites including Elite Prospects, Daily Faceoff and TSN. So why is he possibly sliding all the way back to No.15. Well for one, the draft class if very top-heavy with elite offensive talent.
Secondly, the size issue is a valid concern at the next level. Can Benson overcome that against much bigger NHL defenders? That’s the risk you take, but the ceiling is enormous. It will be hard to resist taking a chance on Benson if he’s available at 15th, and I say you take a swing if you’re Trotz.
That is with the exception of my top prospect I have on the Nashville Predators draft board, and this is mainly because I’m not completely convinced that Benson slides to No.15.