Sam Bennett had no problem scoring goals or showing his gritty side this past season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs. The same can’t be said for one element of fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto.
According to a report from The Canadian Press, the 17-year-old Bennett, who had 91 points in 57 regular season games for Kingston and is the top-ranked North American skater heading into the June NHL Draft, couldn’t do a single pull-up during Saturday’s fitness testing.
“I was definitely disappointed with myself,” Bennett said, as per Canadian Press. “I was wanting to do the best I can in every test. But, I guess, ultimately games aren’t won or lost if you can do a pull-up in the gym.
“I think (what sets me apart) really just a combination of my hockey sense along with my compete level … I think I compete as hard, if not harder, than anyone else.”
A left-shooting center, it seems Bennett still has some growing to do. He stands at 6’0″ and weighs 178 pounds, but doesn’t turn 18 years old until June 20 – seven days before the first round of the draft. But the way he plays the game, the “compete level” as he called it, is an element of his game scouts seem to heavily picked up on.
“He plays the kind of game you think cannot be sustained for a whole season because it’s a high-energy game and compete game at all ends of the ice,” said NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory, as per Bennett’s profile at NHL.com.
“He ends up playing that game for the whole year and has led his team. He just never stops, and put that with the skill package he has and how well he thinks the game, he’s pretty much a top-notch player.”
The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.
Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.
(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)
While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.
The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.
Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out
Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?
Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:
With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.
That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.
Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.
Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith