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Pens call up ’10 first-rounder Bennett

Feb 14, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT

BeauBennett

A day after trading away big-bodied forward Eric Tangradi, the Pittsburgh Penguins recalled 6-foot-2, 190-pound Beau Bennett from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Bennett, 21, was Pittsburgh’s first-round selection (20th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and is the highest-drafted California-born player in league history.

He currently sits second in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in assists (18) and fourth in points (25) and was chosen to represent the Penguins at the 2013 AHL All-Star Game.

This is Bennett’s first season of professional hockey, having spent the last two years at the University of Denver.

He could make his NHL debut Friday, when the Penguins take on the Jets in Winnipeg.

  1. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Hell of an opportunity…make it work Beau – would rather see him on Crosby’s line and move Kunitz back with Geno (I understand the concept of splitting them up, but Geno does not seem like he’s easy to play with – he’s everywhere).

    • valoisvipers - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      I would like Cooke to get more of a chance playing with Geno and Neal.
      A third or forth line for Bennett would let him get experience at the NHL level with out the pressure of playing as a top 6 forward.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I’m not sure Bennett’s style lends itself to a third or fourth line. He’s much more of a playmaker. Putting him on the third line reminds me a lot of what happened in Chicago with Frolik.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        I agree with Hockeywithdrawl. Bennett has pedigree, hockey sense and skill that third and forth liners don’t have. A bottom 6 role is a waste of that.

    • bmscalise - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      No – I disagree. Sid is carrying the team, and the 14-87-9 line is one of the best going right now. Sid is tied for 2nd in scoring and will (I have no doubt) shortly take over the lead; Kuntiz is top-10. Why in all that is holy would you mess with that?

      Sid shouldn’t have his momentum suffer because Geno hasn’t been producing 5-on-5 at the rate expected – despite already having an all-star on his right side. Each of the big boys has one experienced, high-end top-6 forward. It’s utter BS that Sid should suffer with a small guy with NO NHL experience and Pascal Dupuis (much as I love Duper) – just to cater to Geno or because he “can produce with anybody.”

      Sorry, but Sid deserves better, especially when he’s just put up 3pts in 3 of the last 5 games. Geno has Neal; he needs to get his crap together and stop taking bad penalties.

      I’m all for giving Bennett a go on Geno’s wing: lord knows everyone else has had a shot. But 14-87-9 have a chemistry you don’t disrupt.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        I agree with your notion that Geno should be doing more considering his talent and the fact that he still has Neal. But, I’m more than willing to try Bennett on both wings. Bennett has hockey sense that can’t be taught.

        Everything that has come out of coaches mouths both in Pittsburgh and in WBS have suggested that bennett’s vision and play making ability are elite level.

        I think you need to watch Bennett play before you cast in him in a “well he’s all we have left”.

      • pchall72 - Feb 17, 2013 at 2:12 AM

        I like Bennett with Malkin better anyways because he finally gives that line and maybe the powerplay? a top 6 forward that is a RIGHT HAND SHOT!

  2. chanceoffleury1 - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    valoisvipers, Bennett is a scoring forward. The third and fourth lines are grinding lines right now. They have little offensive production.

    I agree with hockeywithdrawl, Crosby seems easier to play with than Geno. During the black and gold game, Bennett played really well with Crosby and Kunitz, and Sid will build his confidence by giving him lots of good chances. Chicago did a similar thing with Toews and Saad. Saad has been playing great and has really started to come around by playing with Toews and Hoss. Crosby-Kunitz has been on fire lately. I’m not sure they’ll be quick to break those 2 up, so I could see them moving Dupuis down and trying: Bennett-Crosby-Kunitz and Neal-Geno-Dupuis

    • bmscalise - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Except that in that scenario you have 3 guys – 3! – shifting from R to L or vice versa. That can’t go wrong at all, especially when one of them has no NHL experience. *sarcasm*

      • chanceoffleury1 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        I know Neal has switched back and fourth and can play both. So, I was going off what their positioning is listed as on the Penguins official website. They have Neal listed as a Left Wing, Dupuis listed as a Right Wing, and Bennett listed as a right wing.

      • bmscalise - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        The WBS site has him listed at Left. (I had always thought he was a RW, and then figured I was wrong when I looked a while ago on the WBS site.) So I don’t know what he’s been playing, since I can’t watch the WBS games. Perhaps it could work then.

        I hate to see Neal switch sides, since he’s biggest success has been on the right, playing on his off-wing. I’d be okay with Duper moving to the left, as he used to play on Sid’s left when Guerin was in Pitt.

        Bennett was playing right at practice, on the 3rd line. Perhaps that’s where they plan on putting him, to give the 3rd line scoring punch. But that really concerns me, as the 3rd line has been really important checking the top lines. There’s no way Bennett is ready – or has the defensive acumen – to be playing against the East’s best.

  3. boukengreen - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    I would leave him in WBS for the year so he could get more seasoning since he didn’t make the team out of camp. I liked his play in the black and gold game but would still let him play the full season in WBS and maybe bring him up once WBS is eliminated from the playoffs

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    It’s about time, Pens fans have been calling for this move all season. No question he’s a talented kid, any indication if he’s going to play with either Malkin or Crosby? He could potentially be the missing piece of the Pens top-6. Although thats a lot of pressure. I’m just glad I don’t have to read “bring up Beau Bennett” anymore.

  5. ironman721 - Feb 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Business is about to pick up. This kid can play. Let’s go Pens🐧❗

  6. valoisvipers - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Well I hope you guys are right about Bennett’s offensive skills but please remember that he will be playing at NHL speed now, that split second less time with the puck can make a lot of difference. The reason I like Cooke on Malkin’s line is he is always in the mind of the opponents and if they are thinking about him they are not thinking about Malkin or Neal. Plus he plays a good gritty game to pluck pucks out from the corner for Malkin and Neal as well as provide protection for them.
    I would like Bennet to succeed and I will live with the coach’s call.

  7. jaybaileys - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    I don’t think bringing the kid up is bad, but they have a guy who has shown some scoring touch in the past already here and he is mostly a healthy scratch. Why does Dustin Jeffrey never get a mention? Especially with the trade of Tangradi and pitiful game the other night by TK. I think Jeffrey can play with Geno and Neal. This whole thing with playing off wings etc. they will figure it out, how many guys play center their whole lives and then have to play wing in the NHL? Especially with this club.

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