After much speculation, it is now official.
Kingston Frontenacs forward Sam Bennett, Calgary’s highest draft pick in team history, will join the team immediately. The team announced the move via a press release earlier this afternoon.
Just 18 years old, Bennett dazzled onlookers in the pre-season with the type of dangling prowess and hard-nosed play that the team hasn’t really seen since the hey-day of the 1980s. His pre-season was prematurely cut short with the revelation of a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery, but also gave Bennett the chance to hang around the big club all season.
He was medically cleared and sent to Kingston in February. He had an excellent, albeit truncated, junior season with 24 points in 11 games, along with 3 points in 4 playoff games. The big question now is how much of his stellar play in junior can be translated to the NHL level. But at worst, he gives Bob Hartley some additional options, particularly with some Top 9 regulars under-performing a bit.
He’ll join the team in Edmonton and could potentially make his National Hockey League debut against the Oilers on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.