In February, the Cranbrook Bucks announced the third player commitment ahead of their inaugural season. Rhys Bentham was introduced as the team’s second committed defenseman, a week after Owen Forfellow became the first. Bentham is from Calgary, Alberta and he turned 18 in May.
Growing up in Calgary, Bentham has spent most of his hockey career so far playing with the Calgary Royals Athletic Association, in the Alberta Elite Hockey League. He is also an alumni member of both the Summit Hockey Academy and Global Sport Academy Group in Calgary.
Rhys Bentham, named captain earlier this year, fancies himself a bit of a basketball fiend and a TikTok pro when he's not ripping it up for the Midget AAA squad @calgaryroyals #yychockey #werglobalsport #yyc pic.twitter.com/opWZwFOzpD
— Global Sport Academy (@global_sportaca) October 27, 2019
Bentham was named U18 AAA Most Valuable Player this past season by the Calgary Royals Athletic Association. He was also a recipient of a $2,500 scholarship as part of the AEHL’s Scholarship Program.
Like the other Bucks commits before him, Bentham also has some previous junior hockey experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of the accomplishments in Bentham’s young career.
A product of the Calgary Royals system
— Royals Midget AAA (@RoyalsMidgetAAA) October 3, 2019
Bentham spent the 2015-16 season playing for the Calgary Royals Gold U15 AA team. In 30 games that season, he managed six goals and 11 assists. Playing another 30 games the following season, Bentham raised his production to eight goals and 15 assists.
The blueliner spent the 2017-18 season with the Royals Gold U16 AAA team. In 34 games, he recorded 10 goals and 20 assists. That same season, Bentham made the jump to the Royals Gold U18 AA team for three games, scoring one goal and adding one assist.
Bentham spent the last two seasons with the Royals U18 AAA team. In 2018-19 he scored one goal and added 12 assists in 34 games. Last season, he scored twice and assisted 10 times in 30 games, while also wearing the ‘C’ for the Royals.
Bentham and the Royals participated in the Mac’s U18 AAA tournament in Calgary this past December. As the Royals captain, Bentham was included in an article in the Owen Sound Sun Times leading up to the tournament, which featured a look at the Calgary teams competing. The Royals finished with three losses and a tie in their four games played. Bentham chipped in with two assists.
Bentham was able to turn a couple of good seasons at the U18 AAA level into some junior A experience as an affiliate player as the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League brought him in for six games last season.
Bentham commits to the Bucks
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) February 14, 2020
On February 14, the Bucks announced the commitment from Bentham. Cranbrook’s owner and president Nathan Lieuwen had heady praise for the incoming defenseman in the team’s news release.
“Rhys is a very intelligent and mobile defenseman who brings a lot to the table. His leadership and character fit the mold of our vision for this team.”
In a tweet, Calgary Royals coach Mike Langen shared his thoughts on Bentham joining the BC Hockey League’s newest team. “Bucks definitely add character, skill, and a passion to win with this young man. Good Luck Rhys and congrats on seeing the results of everything you have put in.”
At the time, Bentham joined defenceman Owen Forfellow and forward Noah Leibl on the Bucks 2020-21 roster. Like the players committed before him and the ones who have come after, Bentham is poised and ready to take the next step in his career.