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Triumphant return for Kingston's Bennett

by Mike G. Morreale

Kingston Frontenacs forward Samuel Bennett wasted little time picking up where he left off when he rejoined his teammates Sunday for his first game since being tabbed No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Bennett, who missed five Ontario Hockey League games, as well as the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, with a lower-body injury, had a goal and an assist in a 6-1 victory against the Belleville Bulls and was named the game's second star.

The 6-foot-0.25, 178-pound left-shot center is riding a 25-game point streak during which he's totaled 17 goals and 46 points.

"Bennett has not only been very noticeable but extremely effective every shift of every game he's played so far this season," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told "His puck handling and playmaking are excellent and he has one of the best shots in this year's draft class.

"He has scored several goals from the high slot and coming in off the wing and has been very effective on the power play."

Bennett, who has 45 goals and 108 points in 101 career games spanning two seasons with the Frontenacs, leads his team with seven power-play goals and owns a plus-28 rating.

"Bennett is a player who can play all situations, elevate his game and rise to the occasion," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said.

Bennett ranks sixth in the Ontario Hockey League with 68 points (27 goals) in 41 games this season.

Kingston (25-17-4) will travel to the Windsor Spitfires (29-17-2) on Thursday.


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