Thread: Line Combos: Is there a logical reason...
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11-11-2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
In the 112* games he's spent at any level above the BCHL, Bennett scored a whopping 23 goals (most of these in the WCHA).

To put in perspective how low that is, Kunitz scored 66 in 110 (CCHA). Dupuis scored 80 in 118 (Q...but he also outpaced Bennett in terms of goalscoring in his rookie season in the minors).

You mentioned Hossa. Hossa is big-time apples and oranges. He barely spent any post-draft time in any developmental league, but doubed Bennett's goal production in less than half the games. Hossa has a feel for how to beat a goaltender that Kunitz will never have and Bennett will certainly never have.

Now, numbers across the WHL/QMJHL/CCHA aren't going to be exact. But if a guy is likely to be a goalscorer in the NHL, he's gonna score goals wherever he is before that (assuming the league he's in before that isn't trash, like the BCHL).

Bennett's got a lot going for him. Wins battles, smart, covers a lot of ground, can walk defenders.

But he's not a finisher, has never been a finisher and is unlikely to ever be a finisher. This is the reason they aren't going to put him with the sport's best passer. It would have been like putting Adam Oates on a line with Steve Yzerman. Or Scott Gomez with Joe Sakic. Just wouldn't have made any sense.

*included Bennett's NHL numbers because I went by years not playing in a trash league up to about 100 games. If I drop those out, the pattern doesn't substantially change.
You make some good argument but you also make some bad ones.

I'm not familiar with Kunitz's collegian career but I watched Bennett when ever I could. Kunitz played 152 games in the CCHA. I'm assuming a good portion of them on the top lines. Bennett played 47. His first season he played 37 games mostly on a 3rd line because Denver was stacked & on the 2nd PP unit for large parts of the season(from the half dozen or more games I saw). He put up 4 less points than Kunitz did his Freshman & Sophmore year.

Most of Kunitz's goals came in his junior & senior years which is expected. Bennett was playing in a league with men at this point in his career.

It's ridiculous to call Bennett a top 6 winger right now but it's just as ridiculous to suggest from that we even know what kind of player he's going to be because of 86 games he played in small chunks after being drafted.

Let's see him stay healthy & play some regular shifts in the NHL for an extended time before we start calling him anything other than a young forward with potential.

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