Sam Bennett: Forward/Centre
82 GP, 11G, 15A, 26 PTS, 59 PIM, -0.90 CFRel%
MarkParkinson14: (D) I sound like a broken record, but I just don’t see it with Sam Bennett. And I want to be wrong. In his 3rd full season with the Flames he played the most games he has since joining the team (82), but his point totals remained the same at 26, down from 36 in 2015-16. You claim it’s his mixed use, the lack of a defined role, blah blah blah. In 3 full seasons Bennett has yet to live up to his #4 overall draft status and a player drafted that high should be able to carry a line, Bennett can’t. The Flames have Sam Bennett at $1.95 million for one more season and I do hope he explodes onto the scene. I just don’t see it and production like this year isn’t making me feel any better about his future.
MGMacGillivray: (C-) Bennett is such a difficult player to grade because he’d have games last year where he absolutely took over, but much more often he’d have games where he couldn’t get anything going at all. It seemed that whenever him and Mark Jankowski teamed up for an early goal, that they’d both be flying the rest of the night, but if they didn’t it would be a struggle. I think giving Bennett one more year to show some progression is important, but at the same time I wouldn’t be out in the street with a torch and pitchfork if the Flames traded him. Hopefully Bill Peters can strengthen Bennett’s discipline as he did in Carolina previously. Time’s a tickin Sam.
MilhouseFirehouse: (C-) Amazingly when I checked, Benny actually took less PIMs this year than he did last year (59 PIM to 75PIM), but I don’t think I’m the only person who’d be surprised by that number. Taking penalties isn’t always a bad thing, but taking bad penalties at really bad times sure as heck always is, and Bennett had those in spades. Much is also made about his lack of point progression, posting back to back 25 point years, but it seems like he genuinely tries to contribute physically when he’s not doing so offensively. I remain in the “high upside” camp for Bennett, as the highest draft pick in franchise history it’s just too early to say there’s nothing there. It took Backlund a long time to finally bloom, and playing on a line with talent pushes that a long way (Backlund w/ Tkachuk-Frolik types as opposed to Backlund w/Bouma-D. Jones-Colborne types, for example). I’d like to think Bennett’s limited time on the top line this year was more indicative of the real deal than when he was being boat anchored with Brouwer and the bottom six. Speculation aside, he had another middle-to-low campaign this year and only patience and time will show us which way that heads.
RenuSahota: (C) C’s get degrees.
Our Final Grade: C-
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