It’s been quite a start to Sam Bennett’s NHL career.
Bennett, the fourth overall pick at the 2014 draft, scored his first-ever NHL goal on Sunday night to give the Flames a 3-1 lead on Vancouver in Game 3 of their opening-round series.
The 18-year-old, who debuted in Calgary’s regular-season finale against Winnipeg, has been a major contributor for Calgary through three playoff games. Bennett assisted on Kris Russell’s game-winning tally with 30 seconds left in Game 1, then dished out a pair of hits in just over 10 minutes in Game 2 (missing some time with an undisclosed injury midway through the contest.)
Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what the Flames do with Bennett as he gets closer to the nine games-played threshold. Once he hits it, he’ll be in line to “burn” the first year of his entry level deal; that said, Calgary GM Brad Treliving said prior to the playoffs there would be “no restriction” with playing Bennett as much as the situation calls for — and given how well he’s played through his first three postseason appearances, he won’t be coming out of the lineup anytime soon.