Another big season lies ahead for Stars centreman Jamie Benn, who continues to carry a lot of pressure on his young shoulders. A couple of injuries last season reduced his ice time slightly, but the Canadian ended up with 63 points. With the Stars adding several recruits as well as moving players on, I feel Jamie could be in for a slightly different campaign in 2012/13.
Firstly, Jamie is likely to be on a fresh line for next season, as he will probably center Loui Eriksson and Jaromir Jagr. The addition of Jagr should benefit the Stars as well as hopefully attracting a few more people to the American Airlines Center to support the boys.
Jagr has shown over the course of his phenomenal NHL career that he is more of an assist man rather than a big goal scorer. He has 988 assists in his career and I think he is going to be a big boost for Jamie Benn. Jamie is still young and learning a lot about the game and Jagr will aid his game a lot, putting him in the places he needs to be and providing him with the puck to score a lot of goals.
Another factor in Benn’s season will be down to the departure of Steve Ott, who headed East to the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for Derek Roy. This means Jamie’s game will require two things; physicality and leadership. I was impressed with Benn’s physicality on and off of the puck last season, and without Steve Ott, Benn will be getting stuck in more than ever next season.
Steve Ott also brought huge leadership to the Stars. Jamie Benn is starting to turn into the face of the franchise, and with it brings leadership. Last season Benn was the guy everyone looked at when the Stars were desperate for a goal and he became much more respected within the team and the league.
So, my predictions for Jamie Benn in 2012/13 are as follows:
- More goals through playing alongside Jaromir Jagr
- More physicality after the loss of Steve Ott and potentially Brenden Morrow
- A more dependent leadership role
In the video below, Loui Eriksson sets up Jamie Benn for his 3rd of the season with a perfect no-look pass from behind the net.