Ben Betker
Image: WHL

Ben Betker

Hometown:

Cranbrook British Columbia

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1994-09-29

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-5

Acquired:

6th round (158th overall), 2013

Weight:

200 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2010-11: Ben Betker played for the Kootenay Ice midget major team in British Columbia. He scored 1 goal with 12 assists and had 56 penalty minutes in 38 games. The Ice finished 10th in the 12-team league.

2011-12: Betker made his WHL debut, skating in a November game with Portland, and spent the year playing for the BCHL’s Westside Warriors. He was +1 with no points nor penalty minutes in his only appearance with the Winterhawks. Betker scored 5 goals with 13 assists in 59 games and had 52 penalty minutes for Westside. The Warriors finished sixth in the Interior Division.

2012-13: Betker was one of four players obtained by Everett from Portland in exchange for the rights to Seth Jones. He skated in 68 of 72 games for the Silvertips in his first WHL season. Betker scored 1 goal with 5 assists and was -21 with 100 penalty minutes. Everett missed the playoffs — finishing last in the U.S. Division with the WHL’s third-worst record. Betker was ranked 147th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by Edmonton in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Betker made huge strides in both his offensive and defensive play while leading Everett in penalty minutes in his second WHL season. Playing in 68 of 72 regular games for the Silvertips (tops amongst defensemen), he scored 7 goals with 14 assists and was -3 with 102 penalty minutes. Everett finished third in the U.S. Division, falling to second-place Seattle in a first-round playoff series. Betker was -4 with 1 assist and 8 penalty minutes in five playoff games.

2014-15: Betker signed a three-year entry-level contract with Edmonton in March 2015 at the end of his third WHL season with the Everett Silvertips. He scored 6 goals with 25 assists and was +19 with 63 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games. Everett finished first in the U.S. Division and advanced to the second round in the playoffs, falling to Portland in five games. Betker scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +1 with 16 penalty minutes in nine playoff games, missing two games in the first round series with Spokane due to an upper body injury suffered in Game 2.

Talent Analysis

Betker is a bit of a throwback defenseman. A big, tough player in his own end and willing to drop the gloves when the need arises, he is willing to do whatever it is necessary for his team to win. His skating is still in need of workand his offensive upside is not particularly noteworthy; though he does join the attack on occasion and has a decent shot from the point. He plays a shutdown-style defensive game and has reasonably sound positional skills.

Future

Betker attended training camp with the Oilers before being returned to Everett at the start of the 2014-15 season. Now in his third WHL campaign, he has been a key factor in the Silvertips' resurgence the past two seasons under former NHL coach Kevin Constantine. In addition to cutting down on his penalty minutes this season, Betker has displayed offensive elements to his game and had topped his career highs in points and assists in early February. Long-term, he is likely to require additional seasoning to further develop his skating and technical skills at the minor pro level following his junior career. The progress he's made since first being drafted in 2013 suggests he can be the type of imposing, physical defender that is sorely lacking in an Edmonton organization known more for its high skill forwards.

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