21-Year-Old Left Wing – Calgary Flames
Sam Bennett Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract worth $2.25 million annually in September of 2017.
Bennett scored a power-play goal and took a minor penalty during Thursday's 5-1 win over Tampa Bay.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Sam Bennett: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
As Bennett enters his age-20 season, he presents an intriguing quandary for fantasy owners. On the one hand, he lacks the buzz he should have as the No. 4 pick in the draft just two years ago, making him relatively easy to acquire; on the other hand, heís stuck in the role of third-line center for the Flames, limiting his upside. Because of that limited opportunity, itís entirely possible that this season sees Bennett simply make minor refinements to his game, ending up right around (perhaps slightly above) his rookie yearís 36 points while contributing double-digit points on the power play. That would make him worth owning in deeper formats, but heís still out on the fringes in standard leagues. That said, Bennett is a future star, while second-line pivot Mikael Backlund may be better suited to the third unit; if the two end up flip-flopping, thatíd be a huge boost for Bennettís value. Heís also a less-than-studly faceoff man, and if he canít address that, itís not impossible that Bennett Ė whoís played both center and wing already in the NHL Ė ends up back on the flank, which might provide him another avenue into the top six.
Bennett is looking to make the leap to the NHL in 2015-16. He has just 12 NHL games under his belt, 11 of which came in the postseason. But heís a blue-chip prospect with speed, smarts, and an elite net-front presence, and at this point, heís proven heís too good for junior hockey. Additionally, Bennett is not yet eligible to play in the AHL, so barring a brutal training camp, heíll be suiting up for the Flames this season. He could even see time as the teamís second-line center, although heíll need to beat out the likes of Mikael Backlund, Josh Jooris, and Matt Stajan for the job. Scratch that -- itís not really a competition, now is it? He wonít deliver like Johnny Gaudreau did in his rookie year, but it's not difficult to envision a scenario where he provides 40 points. Just remember -- he hasnít played much hockey at all in about 12 months, courtesy of a shoulder injury. Fatigue could play a factor at some point.
Bennett is a chippy and explosive offensive center who has a holster full of pro-level skills. His release is like a rocket, which makes his wrister a lethal weapon. He can blow past defenders wide. His vision on the ice is so good it seems like he really does have eyes in the back of his head. He loves to drive the net and he can change the outcome of a game on any given shift. And to top it off, he plays a remarkable 200-foot game, something that young players can sometimes forget. Bennett was one of the most exciting players in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and heís going to bring some gritty razzle-dazzle to Calgary. Heíll be a big-game player once he matures. But he needs to pack some pounds onto his 176-pound frame to withstand the grind of the NHL. Heíll be a top-line, offensive center, but that wonít be for a few seasons.