Sam Bennett is actually going to the NHL.
The Calgary Flames announced Friday that Bennett, the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft, has been recalled to the big club after a brief time in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kingston Frontenacs, where he put up 24 points in 11 regular season games, and three points in four playoff games.
It was initially reported that Bennett was getting called up to the Flames’ AHL affiliate in Adirondack.
“It’s pretty surreal right now. I’m sure when I’m out there and around the team, it will feel a lot more real,” said Bennett, as per the club’s Twitter account.
“This is a dream. This is what I have wanted since I was four years old,” he added.
“Everyone knows what we think of Sam — he’s going to be an important part of our team,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving, as per the Calgary Herald. “But as I told him — and I want to be emphatic — we’re not expecting him to ride in on any horses to save the day. This is not an S.O.S.
“I caution everyone … he’s an 18-year-old player, a young guy who’s yet to play an NHL regular-season game. The expectation here, we have to keep realistic. I don’t want to quell the excitement — hey, we should be excited about Sam — but let’s all keep it in perspective.”
Still just 18 years old, Bennett was with the Flames in training camp, but missed a large portion of this season due to major shoulder surgery that came with a timeline of four to six months.
The Flames are on the road to face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. It’s another big game, as Calgary looks to inch closer to a playoff berth in what has been a surprise season for that club.
With four games remaining on their schedule, the Flames have 91 points, which is just one ahead of the L.A. Kings — the final Wild Card team in the West — and the Winnipeg Jets.