Pens’ Bennett looking ‘a lot more confident’

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Back in April, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admitted that the club screwed up Beau Bennett‘s development, and that the first-round draft pick in 2010 should’ve spent more time honing his game in the AHL.

Keep that in mind when you read today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story on Bennett, because apparently a summer of strength-training has done wonders for the 23-year-old forward’s state of mind.

“I’ve seen him enter training camp a lot more confident,” said coach Mike Johnston. “He’s handling the puck well.”

Bennett credits his new trainer, Matt O’Hara, for not only helping him get stronger, but getting “strong in the right way.” He added that his ” biggest regret” is that he didn’t meet O’Hara “five years ago.”

After putting up just 12 points in 49 games last season, Bennett signed a one-year, $800,000 contract in July.

That’s actually a decrease in NHL salary compared to his entry-level contract, so he shouldn’t lack for motivation in 2015-16.