2011-12: Sam Bennett played for the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget AAA team in the Greater Toronto league and skated for the Marlboros in the 2012 OHL Cup. He scored 33 goals with 36 assists and had 34 penalty minutes in 37 regular season games. In seven games at the OHL Cup he scored 3 goals with 8 assists and had 10 penalty minutes as the Marlboros won a silver medal. Bennett was the ninth player taken when he was selected by Kingston in the first round of the 2012 OHL Priority Draft.
2012-13: Bennett skated in the OHL as a 16-year-old — being named to the league’s all-rookie second team — and competed in the 2013 World Hockey Challenge and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored 18 goals with 22 assists in 60 regular season games for Kingston and was -2 with 87 penalty minutes. The Frontenacs finished third in the East Division despite a sub-.500 record and were swept by Barrie in a first round series. In four OHL playoff games Bennett had 3 assists and was -9 with 2 penalty minutes. He scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was +8 in seven games for gold medal-winning Canada at the WJC . In five games for Canada Ontario at the U17 WHC he scored 3 goals with 3 assists and had 10 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Bennett was an assistant captain for the gold medal Canada U18 team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament before returning to Kingston for his second OHL season. Bennett had a breakout season with the Frontenacs, leading the team in scoring and penalty minutes despite missing time with a groin injury. He scored 36 goals with 55 assists and was +34 with 118 penalty minutes in 57 regular season games as Kingston finished second in the East Division. The Frontenacs were eliminated by Peterborough in a first round playoff series when the Petes scored in overtime to win 2-1 in the decisive seventh game. Bennett scored 5 goals with 4 assist and was +2 with 18 penalty minutes in seven playoff games. In five games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he scored 3 goals with 1 assist and was +3 with 6 penalty minutes. Bennett was the top ranked North American skater in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Calgary in the first round (4th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Bennett made his NHL debut as an 18-year-old in the Flames’ final regular season game against Winnipeg after missing most of the season due to a shoulder injury; skating for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs after recovering from his injury. Bennett impressed in training camp with the Flames despite the shoulder problems but was forced to undergo surgery. He made his season debut in the OHL with the Frontenacs on February 25th, scoring 1 goal with 2 assists in a game against Belleville. Bennett had an assist and was -1 in 16 minutes of ice time in his NHL debut against the Jets. He skated in all 11 playoff games for Calgary, scoring 3 goals with 1 assist, and was -3 with 8 penalty minutes. Bennett scored 11 goals with 13 assists and was +4 with 14 penalty minutes in 11 regular season OHL games for Kingston. He was -4 with 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes in four games in the Frontenacs’ first-round playoff series against North Bay.
Bennett's recent shoulder injury, particularly for a player who plays full tilt and has a strong physical element to his game, is a concern. What is not a question is his talent level and willingness to compete in all three zones. Bennett is an elite talent when it comes to puck movement and on-ice vision who elevates his game to the level of competition. He plays a tough brand of hockey and projects as a team leader-type.
Bennett is expected to skate for Calgary in 2015-16 as a 19-year-old rookie despite missing most of last season due to his shoulder surgery. Back in his natural center spot after playing on the wing for the Flames in the 2015 playoffs, his skill set and hockey awareness suggest he is ready to step into a prominent role. Long-term Bennett, barring injury, should be an integral part of the Flames' organization for years to come.