When the Calgary Flames drafted Sam Bennett fourth overall in 2014, they expected him to develop into an impact player. Unfortunately for Bennett, the 2017-18 season hasn’t gone that way (at all).
Through 15 games, Bennett is still looking for his point of the season. Over his first three years, it’s concerning to see that his numbers have been trending down instead of up. In 2015-16 (his first full season), the 21-year-old accumulated 18 goals and 36 points in 77 games. The following season, those numbers dropped to 13 goals and 26 points.
“I’m not used to starting a season like this. It’s never happened before,” Bennett said, per the Calgary Sun. “Obviously, as much as you try to tell yourself, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ it’s still going to be there. So I’ll take one however I can get it.”
Finding Bennett a position has also been difficult for Calgary, as he’s struggled to play center at the NHL level. His struggles all over the ice haven’t gone unnoticed by people around the league. When things aren’t going well for a young forward with upside, that’s usually when other GMs try to pounce.
According to TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie, Bennett’s slow start has prompted other general managers to pick up the phone and check in on his availability.
On the most recent Insider Trading segment, McKenzie stated that the Flames don’t want to part ways with Bennett, but they also aren’t hanging up when other teams call about him.
Although a change of scenery might do him some good, it doesn’t sound like any team is offering enough assets to get him.
Unless something changes, he’ll have to play himself out of this funk in Calgary.