Sam Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League is now a Calgary Flames player.
The Flames selected Bennett with the fourth pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft who scored 36 goals and 91 points in 57 games last season
Previously I had written about the upcoming draft and who the Flames should select, that prediction was made unavailable after rivals Edmonton Oilers took Leon Draisaitl with pick three.
Picking within the top four Calgary were still going to nab a quality young prospect even if Draisaitl went early, they got that in Sam Bennett, who was ranked the number one North American skater prior to the draft.
It adds another piece to a building centerline for the Calgary Flames with Sean Monahan selected in 2013 and surprised all with a fantastic rookie season.
Likened to Calgary Flames legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Gilmore, Bennett topped three categories in the OHL last season as best smartest player, playmaker and stick-handler.
Magician, creativity, well-rounded talent have all been used to describe Sam Bennett, this is a good pick for the Flames.
Ranked number one prior to the draft, Sam Bennett’s status never changed heading into draft day at the Fargo Center, with NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Mar talking of Bennett being able to elevate his game.
“The guys we have at the top all are in that mold [elevating their game], but when you look at Sam Bennett we see a guy who could potentially have a Jonathan Toews type career.”
Gilmour and Toews comparisons aside, the Flames have got themselves a very skilled hockey player and one many predict could finish his career better than the players selected before him.
With the connection to Doug Gilmour through his father, and the fact that Gilmour is also the current GM at Kingston, Sam Bennett was very pleased to land in Calgary.
“This is unbelievable,” Bennett said.
“To end up in Calgary, I couldn’t be happier.
“I really had a strong feeling Calgary was going to pick me.”
At the draft combine Bennett’s reputation would take a slight hit after he was unable to do one pull-up, but that never deterred the Calgary Flames from pulling the trigger on him.
It’s a relief for Flames fans as they needed to invest heavily through the middle of the ice, they have now done that through Sam Bennett who is a chance of debuting in 2014/15.
First draft under Brad Treliving and Brian Burke, they seem to have selected wisely with the boy from Holland Landing, Ontario.