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Penguins’ Bennett aiming for camp

Aug 16, 2014, 10:03 AM EDT

BeauBennettRangers Getty Images

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.”

Related: Crosby expects to be ready for training camp, says wrist is healing nicely

  1. steelpenbucs87 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    He’s got the skills to be a 25 goal guy, I just wonder if he’ll ever play 60 games in a season.

  2. penguins87and71 - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Yeah your right, he can be a very productive and key player for the Penguins, if only he could stay healthy.

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Still don’t have much faith in him…could change tho.

  4. jpelle82 - Aug 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    bennett is right about one thing, pens are really good at the pivot position

  5. c9castine - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    its not about having faith in him or him even performing to his potential.

    when hes in the lineup even at 75% hes an obvious presence in the offensive zone.

    i believe this kid will get healthy and will be a great top 6 player.

    but this is his last chance. any more set months long set backs and hes going to have a hard time getting into any lineup and fully becoming an NHL player.

  6. jaybaileys - Aug 17, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Ton of potential, and ton of FRAGILE.

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