Benson named Giants captain

Aaron Vickers2016 Draft Center

Tyler Benson can add another early accolade to his draft season.

Benson, seventh in Future Considerations’ preliminary ranking for the 2016 NHL Draft, was named captain of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League on Thursday.

“We’re extremely proud to name Tyler as Captain,” Giants Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott Bonner told the Giants website. “He’s exactly what we look for in a leader. He’s one of our hardest working players every night, and he has won at all levels from minor hockey up through the Ivan Hlinka tournament with Team Canada this past summer.”

Benson won’t immediately lead the Giants, though.

The 17-year-old Edmonton, AB native underwent surgery earlier in September to repair an undisclosed lower body injury. There is no timetable on his return.

Benson helped Canada to gold at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, recording a goal and four assists in four games en route to the first place finish. He also had a goal and three assists in seven games to help Canada to bronze at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship last spring.

The forward had 14 goals and 31 assists in 62 games in his rookie season with Vancouver in 2014-15. He was originally selected first overall by the Giants in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.