Benn There, Done That: Dallas' Forward On Rise To NHL's Elite
Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

Benn There, Done That: Dallas' Forward On Rise To NHL's Elite

Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars has proved he's one of the league's best. He came up differently than most of the league's stars, but it's not stopping his dominance.

Mac Bass

Jamie Benn just keeps getting better and better as his career progresses. He's still only 26-years-old and he won the Art Ross Trophy for the NHL's lead in point scoring at the age of 25. He beat out superstars Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Jakub Voracek and John Tavares. All of these players have something in common. They were all first round picks, three of which were first overall selections.

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However, Benn was not even close to a first round pick. He was picked 129th overall in the fifth round in the 2007 NHL draft by the Dallas Stars. Benn has improved in each season that he's been in the league. Excluding the lockout-shortened season, he has increased his point total every year and he continues to trend up. 

Benn was rather unheard of during his draft year and not many scouts got the chance to see him due to playing on Vancouver Island for the Victoria Grizzlies in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). The scouts that did see him said he was slow and physically immature. Dallas saw him as a player with NHL level puck skills and an NHL shot as a young teenager. The rest of the scouts are kicking themselves after writing off Benn so easily back then.

Not only is Benn a scoring machine, but he's physical and more than willing to drop the gloves. He has taken on much bigger players than him on several occasions and much more experienced fighters. He's truly the Stars' fearless leader. 

Benn will be looking to have an even greater impact this season for the Stars. He had the most points in the NHL last year and he still wants to be even better this year. That's just the kind of player he is and the Stars are lucky to have him. He had offseason hip surgeries, but he's fully recovered and picking up right where he left off last season. He has 15 points and eight goals in nine games this season, both of which lead the league.

Everyone thought Tyler Seguin would be the point leader on Dallas for years to come when he was acquired from the Boston Bruins, but that trade almost seemed to spark Benn into becoming one of the league's elite. He already has an Olympic gold medal to go along with his Art Ross Trophy and All-Star honors, but he wants more. 

Benn will lead his Stars to a Stanley Cup at some point and he already would have done so if the Stars had good defense and reliable goaltending. He's already proved he can lead the league in scoring and is bound to prove even more this year. He's capable of eclipsing his 87 points from last season and possibly hitting the 100 point mark with an electrifying finisher like Seguin by his side.