Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Samuel Bennett (C)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 178 Shoots: Left
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 1 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
A lot was made of the fact Bennett couldn’t do a single pull-up at the NHL Scouting Combine last month, although it’s hard — if not impossible — to think his professional career will be defined by something he couldn’t do in the gym as a 17 year old. When it comes to on the ice, he’s been labeled by NHL Central Scouting as a complete player.
Bennett, playing in his second OHL season, scored 36 goals and 91 points — to go along with 118 penalty minutes — in 57 games for Kingston last year.
Where he goes in the draft, however, might have more to do with what NHL teams are looking for as opposed to rank, because even though he is the No. 1 North American skater, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favorite for the No. 1 overall pick.
Bennett, as mentioned, created a stir when he failed to do a pull-up at the scouting combine. He still does come equipped with a tantalizing skill set for a young player who only turned 18 years of age a few days ago, according to Matt Nichol, a former strength coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Toronto Star.
“He’s a fantastic player and a highly skilled guy. Those things you can’t teach or coach. You can develop them if they have them, but you can’t teach them if they don’t.”
For more 2014 NHL Draft previews, click here.
Bennett is headed to the Flames after Calgary selected him with the fourth overall pick