I am very eager to see tomorrow night’s season opener for a number of reasons. But, at the very top of my list is to see what Jamie Benn can do at this level.
#14 for the Stars is a player we are all familiar with, but it has always been as a “Bright Prospect”. You cease to be a prospect for the future, and a player for the present, when you pull that big league sweater on for your first real game – and for Benn, tomorrow is that night.
Over the last few years, we have seen that the Stars can find some forward talent through the draft and talent development process after almost a decade of very little up front.
But now, with Loui Eriksson, James Neal, and Fabian Brunnstrom on their ledger of promising parts of the present and future, we are hearing messages that this might be their best find yet.
When you bring up a 5th round pick, seldom you hear people you know and trust suggest that he might even make a run at the Calder Trophy for NHL rookie of the year. Our friend, "Razor" told us last night on the air that he could get in that mix.
You also seldom hear people suggest he was the “best player on the ice” on several occasions during the training camp and preseason.
But, they are saying all of this. I hope Benn wasn't planning to fly under the radar early, because the chatter is already building him up pretty high.
And they also say that between the ears he looks as calm, cool, and collected as a kid possibly can.
By the way, those three players (Loui, Neal, and Fabian) combined for a crazy 77 goals last season and 129 points. The kids are now are part of the spine. If you think this team is just Richards, Ribeiro, Morrow, and Ott up front – sleep at your own risk.
And this guy could be the best of the bunch?
In scanning the web, I found hockeysfuture.com had a list of Calder Candidates for this season:
Leading candidates for the 2009-10 Calder Trophy
Benn is nowhere to be found on the league's radar. Yet.
But, starting tomorrow night – I am told likely on a line with Brendan Morrow and Mike Ribeiro – We will see what #14 has in his bag.
I am ready to find out.
If he is anything like James Neal, then we shall all be pretty pleased. If he really does contend for the Calder....Wow.
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