Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett
25-Year-Old Left WingLW
Florida Panthers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Bennett had been on the trade block for months before the Flames finally dealt him to Panthers in April. The former No. 4 overall pick (2014) exploded upon his arrival in South Florida, posting 15 points (and a plus-12 rating) in 10 games with his new club before adding five points in five playoff contests. The Panthers, clearly believing what they saw was not a fluke, then handed Bennett a new four-year, $17.7 million contract. It would obviously be a steal for Florida if Bennett keeps up that type of production, but this is a player who struggled to score his entire career prior to the trade. Florida's acquisition of Sam Reinhart could further serve to reduce Bennett's role. There's theoretical upside here, but you're likely better off letting another team take the plunge on draft day. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $17.7 million contract with the Panthers in July of 2021.
Signs four-year contract
LWFlorida Panthers
July 26, 2021
Bennett secured a four-year, $17.7 million contract from the Panthers on Monday, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Bennett was one of the best trade deadline acquisitions this past season, as he racked up 15 points in 10 regular-season contests before adding another seven goals and 13 helpers in 15 playoff games. The 25-year-old forward should be a lock for a top-six role and should see plenty of action with the man advantage heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    13:28
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:35
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:45
  • Average Time On Ice:
    18:04
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    3:38
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:44
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
13:17
1:32
0:12
2019–20
12:31
0:44
0:04
2020–21
13:28
0:35
0:45
2020–21
18:04
3:38
1:44
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
Bennett lost a month of last season to an upper-body injury and finished with only 12 points in 52 games, both career-low marks for the 24-year-old forward. He did, however, go on to compile eight points in 10 postseason contests. Fantasy managers shouldn't expect a late-bloomer breakout season for the fourth overall pick from 2014, which gives Bennett only limited usefulness in standard formats. The Ontario native shouldn't be counted on for more than 30 points in a full season, but he should chip in with roughly two hits per game while registering robust totals in shots on goal and PIM. If he can recapture his playoff form, Bennett may earn more attention, but regular-season success has been fleeting for him thus far in his career.
Bennett registered 13 goals and 27 points while racking up 121 hits and a career-high 93 PIM in 71 games last year. The versatile third-liner has struggled to replicate the 36-point season he had as a rookie, but he has consistently eclipsed the 10-goal, 25-point mark over the past three campaigns. A leap forward in offensive production in his fifth season is possible, but Bennett's physicality alone makes him worthy of a late-round pick in deeper formats that count hits.
For the second consecutive season, Bennett finished with 26 points, totaling 11 goals and 15 points in 2017-18. It's not a great number for the 22-year-old winger, given that he posted 18 goals and 36 points in his 2015-16 rookie campaign. Drafted fourth overall in 2014, Calgary was certainly hoping for some more offensive production out of the Ontario native. Bennett did improve in some areas, however, setting new career highs with 140 hits and 157 shots on net. Bennett is in the final year of his contract, so there should be no lack of motivation on his end. While fantasy owners should exercise caution, he could be worthy of a late-round flier.
Now three years removed from being the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Bennett has still not blossomed into the player the Flames thought they were getting. The 21-year-old took a step back in 2016-17, posting a troubling 26 points -- 10 fewer than his rookie season -- while also doubling his penalty minutes from the season prior (to 75). While that all looks bad, the Flames have certainly not given up on their young forward, as they chose to protect him from selected in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The numbers suggest that Bennett is a risky pick for prospective fantasy owners, and he'll need to impress mightily in order to break into a top-six role, but his raw talent and pedigree make him a player to watch for signs of a breakout.
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, he’s stuck in the role of third-line center for the Flames, limiting his upside. Because of that limited opportunity, it’s entirely possible that this season sees Bennett simply make minor refinements to his game, ending up right around (perhaps slightly above) his rookie year’s 36 points while contributing double-digit points on the power play. That would make him worth owning in deeper formats, but he’s 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, that’d be a huge boost for Bennett’s value. He’s also a less-than-studly faceoff man, and if he can’t address that, it’s not impossible that Bennett – who’s played both center and wing already in the NHL – 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 he’s a blue-chip prospect with speed, smarts, and an elite net-front presence, and at this point, he’s proven he’s too good for junior hockey. Additionally, Bennett is not yet eligible to play in the AHL, so barring a brutal training camp, he’ll be suiting up for the Flames this season. He could even see time as the team’s second-line center, although he’ll need to beat out the likes of Mikael Backlund, Josh Jooris, and Matt Stajan for the job. Scratch that -- it’s not really a competition, now is it? He won’t 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 hasn’t 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 he’s going to bring some gritty razzle-dazzle to Calgary. He’ll 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. He’ll be a top-line, offensive center, but that won’t be for a few seasons.
More Fantasy News
Provides assist
LWFlorida Panthers
May 24, 2021
Bennett notched an assist, five shots on goal, two hits and two blocked shots in Monday's 4-1 win over the Lightning in Game 5.
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Scores in return from suspension
LWFlorida Panthers
May 20, 2021
Bennett provided a goal and three hits in Thursday's 6-5 win over Tampa Bay in Game 3.
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Suspended one game
LWFlorida Panthers
Suspension
May 17, 2021
Bennett has been suspended for Game 2 of the Panthers' first-round series against the Lightning.
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Facing possible suspension
LWFlorida Panthers
May 17, 2021
Bennett will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety for boarding Blake Coleman on Sunday.
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Sends two assists
LWFlorida Panthers
May 16, 2021
Bennett (undisclosed) produced a pair of assists, four shots on goal, four PIM, three hits and three blocked shots in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Lightning in Game 1.
ANALYSIS
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