Jamie Benn got some love from a couple Stanley Cup champions – superstars Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane – in Sports Illustrated‘s 2015 NHL preview series.
When pressed as to who the league’s most underrated player was, both Kane and Crosby answered with Benn’s name.
Crosby played with Benn at last year’s Olympics when Canada won gold, and Benn broke out in the tournament playing on a line with Anaheim’s towering twins, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
“Good two-way player,” said Crosby. “He’s big. He’s strong. He’s tough. When you talk about top players, not necessarily right away I think (does) his name always come up. But I think he definitely deserves to be there.”
Kane plays against Benn in the West’s Central Division.
“He’s a guy that we see a lot in our division,” said Kane. “You look at what he does, he does everything. I mean, he’s good with the puck. He’s a good skater.”
Benn finished 10th in NHL scoring last year, his first as captain of the Dallas Stars, with 79 points. Tyler Seguin, who joined the Stars before the 2013/14 season, finished fourth in league scoring with 37 goals and 84 points, often playing with Benn.
Dallas finished eighth in the Western Conference and nearly pulled off an upset of the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks, losing in overtime in Game 6.
This year, the Stars are hoping to leapfrog teams like Kane’s Blackhawks, after Dallas added Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to an already deep offensive attack.
Other players getting props included a trio of Bruins – two-way forward Patrice Bergeron, pest Brad Marchand, and playmaking center David Krejci.
The New York Islanders’ Kyle Okposo also received some love from Rangers’ defenceman Ryan McDonagh and Patrice Bergeron.
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