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NHL Draft Prospect Matty Beniers prioritizes defensive aspects of the game

Latvia Ice Hockey Worlds Matty Beniers IIHF
Posted at 11:32 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 23:32:50-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's plenty of similarities between two of this year's top NHL Draft Prospects. Owen Power & Matty Beniers both play a 200-foot game. They both played for Michigan this past winter. And they both laced up for their respective countries this past summer.

But Beniers might need some more time in the NCAA.

"You know, it kind of gets higher every step of the way," Beniers said. "I think that I'm pretty close, but you know, it takes a lot of work to get there, and kind of stay there, and be impactful."

He impacted the Wolverines plenty as a freshman. His 10 goals tied for the team lead; he added 14 assists to play at a point-per-game pace. But the biggest influence on Beniers's game as he grew up inspired his defensive play.

"Growing up watching [Patrice] Bergeron, he does all of those things. He's one of the best in the league at playing that two-way center game," Beniers said. "You play defense before you get to the fun stuff. So that's kind of how it's been my whole life, and I've just continued that on."

Beniers had originally committed to Harvard to stay close to his hometown of Hingham, Massachusetts. Instead, he's a key piece for a Michigan team loaded with NHL talent and ascended to being one of the best forwards in the 2021 NHL Draft.