Godric wrote:Did I mention I think Bennett is going to be a bust?
Can someone please argue with me over this? I totally don't want to feel that way about him.
Godric, I'll bite.
For starters, he does things with the puck that you can't teach. His dekes are the kind that make your head snap and I've seen him score one timer goals from along the wall near the circle that would get you out of your seat in no time. Offensively, there just isn't anyone like him in our system. Don't forget that he played with a great center in the BCHL in Denver Manderson. Now, Manderson hasn't developed into squat, but in their time together, Bennett reaped the benefits of playing with a BCHL star center. Now think about that for a second. That's all we have here in Pittsburgh. Let me lead into that with another comment.
My biggest concern about Bennett was size and battling through checks along the wall. He had a bit of east/west in his game. I was the one that made the roller hockey comment. That's how he learned how to play the game I think the remnants of that were still prevalent in his game at the NCAA level. He's added an absolute ton of muscle and has bulked up in a big way. Physicality is still is main obstacle but he's show a willingness to at least give it 100%.
Now, that being said, when you play with a guy like a Crosby or a Malkin, the main focus of the defensive assignments are going to go to them. The more space Bennett has, the more opportunity he has to rip the puck or dangle to the net. I'm less worried about him now given the fact that he's bulked up, had academic success, and has a great drive to succeed. Offensively, from a forward perspective, he's the best option we have to play in the top 6.