Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett
23-Year-Old Left WingLW
Calgary Flames
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Bennett registered 13 goals and 27 points while racking up 121 hits and a career-high 93 PIM in 71 games last year. The versatile third-liner has struggled to replicate the 36-point season he had as a rookie, but he has consistently eclipsed the 10-goal, 25-point mark over the past three campaigns. A leap forward in offensive production in his fifth season is possible, but Bennett's physicality alone makes him worthy of a late-round pick in deeper formats that count hits. Read Past Outlooks
$Agreed on a two-year deal worth $2.55 million AAV with the Flames in July of 2019.
Pockets assist
LWCalgary Flames
October 3, 2019
Bennett notched an assist and four hits in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Avalanche.
Bennett had the primary assist, laying off for defenseman Mark Giordano's second-period tally to bring the Flames within a goal. Bennett signed a two-year bridge deal in July, so it's up to the 23-year-old to prove his value now -- since a 36-point rookie campaign, the forward has failed to reach the 30-point mark in three straight seasons.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the second consecutive season, Bennett finished with 26 points, totaling 11 goals and 15 points in 2017-18. It's not a great number for the 22-year-old winger, given that he posted 18 goals and 36 points in his 2015-16 rookie campaign. Drafted fourth overall in 2014, Calgary was certainly hoping for some more offensive production out of the Ontario native. Bennett did improve in some areas, however, setting new career highs with 140 hits and 157 shots on net. Bennett is in the final year of his contract, so there should be no lack of motivation on his end. While fantasy owners should exercise caution, he could be worthy of a late-round flier.
Now three years removed from being the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Bennett has still not blossomed into the player the Flames thought they were getting. The 21-year-old took a step back in 2016-17, posting a troubling 26 points -- 10 fewer than his rookie season -- while also doubling his penalty minutes from the season prior (to 75). While that all looks bad, the Flames have certainly not given up on their young forward, as they chose to protect him from selected in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The numbers suggest that Bennett is a risky pick for prospective fantasy owners, and he'll need to impress mightily in order to break into a top-six role, but his raw talent and pedigree make him a player to watch for signs of a breakout.
As Bennett enters his age-20 season, he presents an intriguing quandary for fantasy owners. On the one hand, he lacks the buzz he should have as the No. 4 pick in the draft just two years ago, making him relatively easy to acquire; on the other hand, he’s stuck in the role of third-line center for the Flames, limiting his upside. Because of that limited opportunity, it’s entirely possible that this season sees Bennett simply make minor refinements to his game, ending up right around (perhaps slightly above) his rookie year’s 36 points while contributing double-digit points on the power play. That would make him worth owning in deeper formats, but he’s still out on the fringes in standard leagues. That said, Bennett is a future star, while second-line pivot Mikael Backlund may be better suited to the third unit; if the two end up flip-flopping, that’d be a huge boost for Bennett’s value. He’s also a less-than-studly faceoff man, and if he can’t address that, it’s not impossible that Bennett – who’s played both center and wing already in the NHL – ends up back on the flank, which might provide him another avenue into the top six.
Bennett is looking to make the leap to the NHL in 2015-16. He has just 12 NHL games under his belt, 11 of which came in the postseason. But he’s a blue-chip prospect with speed, smarts, and an elite net-front presence, and at this point, he’s proven he’s too good for junior hockey. Additionally, Bennett is not yet eligible to play in the AHL, so barring a brutal training camp, he’ll be suiting up for the Flames this season. He could even see time as the team’s second-line center, although he’ll need to beat out the likes of Mikael Backlund, Josh Jooris, and Matt Stajan for the job. Scratch that -- it’s not really a competition, now is it? He won’t deliver like Johnny Gaudreau did in his rookie year, but it's not difficult to envision a scenario where he provides 40 points. Just remember -- he hasn’t played much hockey at all in about 12 months, courtesy of a shoulder injury. Fatigue could play a factor at some point.
Bennett is a chippy and explosive offensive center who has a holster full of pro-level skills. His release is like a rocket, which makes his wrister a lethal weapon. He can blow past defenders wide. His vision on the ice is so good it seems like he really does have eyes in the back of his head. He loves to drive the net and he can change the outcome of a game on any given shift. And to top it off, he plays a remarkable 200-foot game, something that young players can sometimes forget. Bennett was one of the most exciting players in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and he’s going to bring some gritty razzle-dazzle to Calgary. He’ll be a big-game player once he matures. But he needs to pack some pounds onto his 176-pound frame to withstand the grind of the NHL. He’ll be a top-line, offensive center, but that won’t be for a few seasons.
More Fantasy News
Avoids arbitration
LWCalgary Flames
July 24, 2019
Bennett and the Flames agreed on a two-year deal worth $2.55 million AAV on Wednesday.
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Seeking arbitration
LWCalgary Flames
July 6, 2019
Bennett filed for salary arbitration Friday.
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Gets qualified by Flames
LWCalgary Flames
June 25, 2019
Bennett received a qualifying offer from the Flames on Tuesday.
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Produces assist
LWCalgary Flames
April 19, 2019
Bennett registered an assist and nine hits in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Avalanche in Game 5.
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Nets power-play tally
LWCalgary Flames
April 15, 2019
Bennett scored a power-play goal and added three hits and 12 PIM in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Avalanche in Game 3.
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