Sabres tell rookie Zach Benson he’s sticking around past Game 10

Watch as Buffalo Sabres rookie Zach Benson makes his case for one of the best first career goals of all time, going between his legs and roofing the puck for an absolutely filthy finish.

Zach Benson, he of the gutsy between-the-legs first career NHL goal that sent the league buzzing earlier this week, has been told by Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams he’ll be sticking around past his 10th game.

“I just talked to Kevyn briefly. He kind of let me know that I’ll be playing my 10th game tonight and, you know, just keep getting better every day, that’s the goal,” Benson told reporters ahead of Friday’s meeting with the Penguins. “My main focus is on tonight and how I can play my best game to help this team try to win a hockey game.”

Benson, 18, is one of four players from the 2023 NHL Draft still in the league, joining Connor Bedard, Leo Carlsson and Adam Fantilli, who went 1-2-3. Benson was taken 13th overall by the Sabres.

In nine games with the Sabres, Benson has one goal and four assists.

If a player on an entry-level contract plays 10 games or more with his NHL team, his contract cannot “slide” or extend a year when it comes to the salary cap. In other words, a contract signed for three seasons kicks in immediately, and not the following season.

The next deadline for Benson will be the 40-game mark. If he plays in 40 games this season, he will gain a season of service time toward free agency. If not, the Sabres will maintain an extra year of control through the restricted free agent process.

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