In a move that ends weeks and weeks of speculation, the Calgary Flames today announced that they’re returning center Sam Bennett to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Bennett, 18, has been on the shelf since October after undergoing shoulder surgery. Calgary’s fourth overall pick – their highest draft pick since moving from Atlanta – had been superb in training camp despite the malady, particularly in a handful of pre-season games.
His last official game action in a game that counted was back on April 1, 2014 when the Frontenacs lost to Peterborough in the final game of the first round of the OHL playoffs. Bennett had 91 points in 57 games last season and was drafted as the top-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. In short: the Flames got a pretty good hockey player.
I had thought the Flames may be tempted to place Bennett on a conditioning stint, but with the OHL playoffs looming, might as well get him back in action there. The Frontenacs are in seventh place in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, but they have some games in hand. With Bennett at 100% – knock on wood – his return should allow them to solidify their playoff standing a bit.
Kingston plays tonight in Oshawa against Hunter Smith and the Generals, and then on Sunday at home in Kingston against the Saginaw Spirit. I’d suspect he suits up on Sunday based on travel.