Aug 16, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett expects to be ready for training camp after undergoing a second wrist surgery on May 22.
Bennett, 22, tells Michelle Crechiolo of the Penguins that the wrist is getting progressively better.
“Playing it by ear right now,” he said. “Everyday it’s feeling a little bit better and we’re increasing a little bit in the weight training and on-ice stuff. It’s still early and I’m glad that I’m here (in Pittsburgh) early enough where I can really see where I’m at.”
Following his spring surgery, the second in six months, a four-month window was expected for recovery, which would take the Gardena, Calif. native into September.
Bennett underwent surgery on the wrist for the first time in November 2013. At that time, a recovery period of 8-10 weeks was expected.
Following the surgery, Bennett returned in March to play nine regular season games scoring two goals and two assists.
This time around, Bennett feels the process is moving a long better.
“So far, it’s been a lot better,” Bennett said. “I was only in the cast for two weeks as opposed to six weeks the last time. It’s a work in progress.”
Bennett added one goal and four assists in 12 playoff games as the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers in the second round.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder had three goals and four assists in 21 NHL games last season, Bennett also appeared in three games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL on a conditioning assignment where he had an assist.
Entering his third NHL season, Bennett could be prime for a bigger role this year following the departures of James Neal, who was dealt to the Nashville Predators and unrestricted free agent Jussi Jokinen signing with the Florida Panthers.
“It’s tough because I didn’t have a real full season last year,” said Bennett. “It’s hard to gauge where I’ll be at coming into this year. But I’m excited for the opportunity to play top-six.
“Even if you play top-nine, we have (Brandon) Sutter as the third-line center and he’s an unbelievable guy to play with. Then you have (Marcel) Goc, who I played with a lot in the playoffs and we were familiar with each other. It’s kind of an embarrassment of riches down the middle and we’re pretty lucky as wingers to play with any of the guys.”
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