Canucks Army draft prospect profile #2 – Sam Bennett

The funniest thing to come out of the Draft Combine was the news that Sam Bennett couldn’t do a single pull-up. Behind him in the above photo are scouts who have a) can probably not do a pull-up either and b) didn’t score nearly two points per game in the OHL during their draft seasons. I don’t know why it is scouts even have prospects do pull-ups as part of their physical evaluations, but I really, really hope that at least one team passes on him because of it, and then Bennett scores a hat-trick on them when he’s still on his entry-level deal.

SAM BENNETT – Kingston (OHL)
Position: C/LW
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 181 lbs
Birthdate: June 20 1996

No alarm bells immediately go off here. Bennett’s not much older than his draft class (he’s on the younger side, actually) nor is he too small or too big. He plays that all-important centre position, between two players who aren’t standalone prospects or overage players inflating Bennett’s numbers. In fact, he spent a lot of time with Spencer Watson this season, another prospect with point-a-game statistics, who is probably going to be picked thanks to his synergy with Bennett.

When the midterm and final CSS rankings were announced, a lot of people took for granted that the two players expected to be up there, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart, weren’t jostling for first place. Instead, it was the Kingston Frontenac Bennett, on the heels of a second consecutive fantastic season relative to his age group.

It’s not like the Fronts were a very good team last season, with or without Bennett. After Bennett’s 91 points in 57 games, the next closest player was Henri Ikonen, a Bolts prospect who suited up for Finland at the World Juniors. Bennett was left off the U-18 roster due to maintenance reasons at the end of his season (the Fronts blew a 3-0 series lead to Peterborough. Bennett led the series with 9 points) so he doesn’t have that stretch of international dominance to point to, but he’s a great prospect for lots of reasons.

The scouting report says “generates chances with his quickness, awareness and constant effort” and is “not flashy” which is part of the reason I don’t see a big chance Bennett goes to the Canucks at all. If they trade up, they’re doing so with visions of local boy Reinhart in mind, and not a mere Ontario player who probably surprised a lot of people by being on top of the Central Scouting lists. He’s also not going to drop too far in this draft—he’s just that good a player coming off a superb season.

Here’s Bennett’s highlight video. Some of these passes are ridiculous, but what I kind of like is that Bennett’s not going to try to stickhandle through a phone booth (even though he can) when a passing option exists:

Rankings:

Sam Bennett
Cam 2
Dimitri 3
Josh 2
Rhys 2
Thomas 3

PREVIOUS PROSPECT PROFILES

  • I’m sure some people will consider the 118 PIM a positive indicator, but for me, that’s a medium-sized negative and enough to tip the scales to Reinhart.

  • Personally, I consider the fact that he can’t do a pullup as a positive.

    Imagine what he will do as he gets stronger.

    Along with the fact that he’s nearly 8 months younger than Reinhart & Draisaitl, he may still have some projection left.

    Not that the Canucks would do it.

    But I’d gamble on Bennett over Reinhart.

        • You wouldn’t trade Hall for Seguin straight up?

          Seemingly improving the centre depth while allowing Yakupov to take on a more prominent role would prevent the Oilers from being hemmed in their own zone on most nights…

          • Just that Seguin is a true centre.

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but Hall has played centre at times.

            How has he done?

            I assume if he was good at it the Oilers would keep him there and give a more prominent role to Yakupov.

            But maybe I’m way off…

          • Hall is a winger but how is having Seguin a boost in not being hemmed in the defensive end? Yakupov plays RW, Hall plays LW.

          • Not that I pay much attention to the Oilers, but it seems they have the same issue that Toronto has.

            Great wingers & poor centre depth.

            How many teams in the salary cap era (or even before the cap era) have contended with this set up?

            In my opinion, the Oilers would have been better off with Eberle/Seguin/Yakupov & Perron/RNH/Hemsky than Hall/RNH/Eberle & Perron/Gagner/Yakupov or however they had the lines set up.

            Put differently, do you think the Stars would trade Seguin for Hall?

            Agree to disagree though…

          • i don’t think Stars would trade Seguin for Hall, they needed a C extremely bad, that’s why they traded for him to begin with. think of their C depth without him entirely

          • We’ll sequin was a plus 18 and hall was minus 15. Whoever the better player is can be debated. Hall needs a centre just like sequin needed benn. Maybe Hopkins will step his game up this year

      • Actually I have been thinking the same thing.

        But would a team be willing to take on that kind of risk?

        I’d be quite pleased if the Canucks traded up to #1 and had the grapes to take Bennett over Reinhart.

        Sea to Sky boners be damned…

    • I can see your point here, and I agree, it may not be that big of deal he can’t do a pull-up.

      But really, even a lot of 15 year old GIRLS I know can do at least one pull-up.

      • With a pull-up, anything that’s not arm muscle is more deadweight that needs to be lifted.

        Especially if the girls you’re talking about are petite, then the amount of weight they need to be able to pull up is far less than Bennett has to (maybe only half of what Bennett would need to)

        • Perhaps you are mistaking a chin up, with a pull up? Pull-ups are mostly back muscles used, not arms. Chin ups are arms.

          Woman are NOT built (body structure) for pullups.
          Men are built for pull-ups. The fact he (a young man) can not do one pullup, is pretty bad, considering some 15 year old girls (who are not built for it) can do at least one. Maybe he should start doing them more often?

          For the record, I still don’t think this has any bearing what so ever, on how good he can be/is.

  • Perhaps one of the bloggers here would like to compare Reinhart’s scoring as a 17 year old (he played most of this past season as an 18 year old) to Bennett’s scoring.

    Adjusting for strength of league etc.

    I suspect that it may tip the scales in Bennett’s favour at least in terms of scoring at the same age…

  • @Kobra

    Quite possibly. Still seems like an odd metric given that they work against their own body mass instead of against set weights on a machine