Flames Prospect Sam Bennett Joining The Pros


Sam Bennett, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft to the Calgary Flames, will be making his pro debut shortly. The Kingston Frontenacs center has been recalled to Flames NHL roster.

Bennett is just 18 years old and he probably would have made the Flames roster after having a strong showing at training camp this fall. However, he had his shoulder operated on and wasn’t able to return until February, when they decided to have him play in the Ontario Hockey League to get acclimated again.

It was obvious that Bennett was ready for pro hockey. With the woefully bad Fronteancs, Bennett put up 24 points in 11 games, 11 of them goals. That was an average of more than two points per game!

“I’m just trying to keep myself prepared for any situation that can come. It’s tough not knowing, but I’m just thrilled to be here,” Bennett said to the Calgary Sun.

“It’s a great time of year. It’s exciting. You can feel it in the room. I know back in Calgary there’s so much excitement in the city. It really is an unbelievable opportunity for myself. I’m honoured to be here and possibly get the chance to play soon.”

Calgary is fighting for a playoff spot, and Bennett did not make his debut last night against their rival Edmonton Oilers as some thought he would. Instead, it sounds like Bennett might see his first NHL action this coming Tuesday night when the Flames face the Arizona Coyotes.

Calgary has just three games remaining; Arizona, the Los Angeles Kings, whom the Flames lead by just one point, and the Winnipeg Jets who are also battling for a playoff position.

“This is probably the biggest jump at probably one of the most important times of the year in the NHL season,” Bennett said. “It’s definitely something new but it’s something I’m willing to accept the challenge. I just can’t wait to get out there.”

Bennett’s Frontenacs were eliminated from the OHL playoffs when the Flames recalled him. His 2014 draft class has been seen as a very successful one thus far; first overall pick Aaron Ekblad has been phenomenal with the Florida Panthers along with Boston Bruins pick David Pastrnak who has been leading them to success heading into the playoffs.

Leon Draisaitl, the third overall pick right before Bennett went, has also seen plenty of NHL time with the Edmonton Oilers. In fact, every top four pick will see NHL action after Bennett makes his debut; the Buffalo Sabres second overall pick Sam Reinhart saw brief NHL time before they sent him back to his junior team.