Joey Benik is ready to make his Edmonton Oilers debut in the Canucks Young Stars Classic Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“It’s my first Young Stars and it will be a lot of fun,” said Benik, who played two years in the BCHL with the Penticton Vees, scoring the RBC Cup-clinching goal over the Woodstock Slammers in 2012. “I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. I know Penticton does a great job hosting. I got to witness the tournament each year. It was always a great turnout. Great fan support here. It’s something that I’m pretty excited for.”
When Benik hits the ice he will face his former Vees teammate Troy Stecher of the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30 p.m., which he said will be fun.
“I experienced it back home when I was playing at St. Cloud State,” said Benik, who led the Huskies in goals last season with 23 and added 25 assists. “Troy Stecher was at North Dakota. We played in the same conference. We played against each other four times a year. It’s always fun playing against guys that you’re good friends with. It’s a game when you get out there so you are going to play hard. It’s basically not friends out there when you are playing. Afterwards, you can be buddies and talk about the game and talk about life.”
Benik completed his career with the Huskies putting up 59 goals and 126 points, ranking him 13th in the team record books. He was an All-NCHC second team selection in 2015-16.
During practice this morning, Benik said it was about getting systems down for tonight’s game.
Benik has enjoyed being back in Penticton and on Thursday night he had dinner his billet family, the Paakspuu’s.
“It was good to see them,” said Benik. “It will be good to see more friendly faces here tonight.”