Spotlight - Kye Benjaminsen

Kye Benjaminsen

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Kye Benjaminsen stands out from the crowd.

He’s about as charismatic as they come. He certainly enjoys a hearty chuckle. And he’s a dazzling offensive wizard on the ice.

And for the Trinity Western men’s hockey team, they have found a gem.

The Ladner, B.C. product, who joined the Spartans this fall after playing his last season of junior hockey with the Junior “B” Delta Ice Hawks, is the kind of hockey player every team would love to have and every fan would love to watch.

Through the first 13 regular season games of his Spartans career, Benjaminsen has seven goals and seven assists, is tied for second in team scoring and, after collecting nine points in five games in the November, was named the BCIHL Rookie of the Month. And heading into just his second semester at the university level, it seems he’s just getting going.

As Trinity Western men’s hockey coach Dwayne Lowdermilk says, “He is fun to watch.  Sometimes on the bench I get caught up watching his plays rather than getting my next line ready.”

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound forward, who did make brief stops in Alberta’s and B.C.’s Junior “A” circuits, spent the better part of the last five years playing Junior “B” hockey with the Ice Hawks and North Delta Devils, where he combined for 51 goals and 128 assists in 197 regular season games and 15 goals and 30 assists in 42 playoff games.

So when he arrived in Langley this fall, both he and the coaching staff expected him to be one of the Spartans key offensive catalysts.

And so far, despite playing with seemingly different linemates every game and sometimes changing from shift to shift because of injuries, the fun-loving 21-year-old looks to be finding his groove.

“I’m a quick guy out there,” Benjaminsen said when asked to describe what he brings to the Spartans. “I’ve got pretty soft hands and I might put a couple of nice goals in the net.”

There’s a reason for those hands are so deft and the pretty goals so plenty.

While Benjaminsen has had his fair share of success on the ice, when the ice gets melted down and skate blades become wheels, the fast-footed forward actually has another notch.

If you thought he was good at ice hockey, just wait until you see him play inline hockey, a sport he readily admits is his best.

“I started playing [inline hockey] when I was about 10 years old,” Benjaminsen said. “I like the fast-paced, four-on-four style. I’m a smaller guy so a game with that much speed was pretty exciting. You have that wide open space and the ability to wheel out there. You can’t really hit so I’m able to fly around there a little easier. And I try to incorporate those skills into my on-ice game.”

Benjaminsen isn’t just a “good” inline player, he’s actually played for Canada’s national team and has represented his country on three different occasions at the World InLine Hockey Championship.

In 2008 in Slovakia, he helped Canada to a gold medal in the second tier. In 2009, in Germany, he was on the Canadian side that finished seventh in the first tier. And then in 2010, in Sweden, he helped lead Canada to a fourth place finish, once again in the top tier.

“It’s a pretty exciting opportunity to play for your country,” Benjaminsen said. “It’s an eye-opener to see those type of players. I have had the chance to play against guys like [Edmonton Oilers forward] Ales Hemsky and Dick Axelsson, who has been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. It’s another whole level what those guys can do out there.”

This past summer, he took a break from the national team as he prepared to attend Trinity Western but next year Benjaminsen hopes to once again represent Canada with the World Championship back in Germany.

The Spartans are just hoping, and so far it seems to be the case, that he can continue to bring his inline abilities to the ice.

Whether it’s a sweet dangle that wows the crowd or quick shot that wows the opposition goalie, Benjaminsen will need to be the man with the Spartans plan this year and in the years to come.

“Kye is a very skilled athlete,” Lowdermilk said. “If he can put a couple of years behind him, he is going to know the league and he’s going to be a strong finisher for us.”

Judging by the ever-present smile on his face that gets even bigger when he lights the red lamp, it seems he’s just fine assuming that offensive role.

So the fact he’s already making both the opposition and the fans take notice bodes well for his future.

 

Last Updated: 2011-12-21
Author: Mark Janzen