Sam Bennett’s season hasn’t gone as scripted, but he can’t argue with its finish. The 18-year-old forward will get to make his NHL debut this afternoon with the Calgary Flames. Based on the team’s pregame warmups, he’ll skate alongside David Wolf and Drew Shore in Calgary’s contest against the Winnipeg Jets.
After being taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, it looked like Bennett had a good shot of making the Flames for at least a nine-game trial. However, he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery and was consequently sidelined until late February.
When he was finally able to play, Calgary felt it was best to send him to the OHL Kingston Frontenacs, where he excelled with 11 goals and 24 points in 11 games. He was recalled by the Flames on April 3, but until now he had been serving as a healthy scratch.
Calgary has secured a playoff berth and will face the Vancouver Canucks in the first round no matter what happens today. That being said, who will have the home-ice advantage in that series remains to be determined and while Vancouver has the clear edge in that regard, a win by the Flames will at least keeps them in the running for it.