Hollywood, Fla. — One thing everybody, including Beau Bennett himself, agrees on is that Bennett is a playmaker.
Still, to discount his shot is not wise.
Sidney Crosby, who set up Bennett’s first NHL goal on Sunday night, said Bennett will be a successful goal scorer in the NHL because his shot is “accurate.”
Marc-Andre Fleury described the shots Bennett takes in practices as “heavy.” Fleury also cited Bennett’s “good release.”
Jason Botterill, the Penguins assistant general manager, suggested that Bennett is so skilled as a passer that his shot may go underappreciated.
“He can shoot,” Botterill said. “It’s just that coming up in junior hockey Beau stood out because of the plays he made.”
That may ultimately prove the case in the NHL for Bennett, 21, who is looking more and more comfortable with the Penguins.
That brings up another element of Bennett’s game that not too many people are talking about.
Pascal Dupuis lauded Bennett’s confidence.
Generally, Dupuis is one of the players that makes fitting into the Penguins team dynamic a smooth transition for newbies, whether they be young players or veterans.
Bennett, though, carries himself with the confidence of a been here/done that player – not somebody that grew up playing ice hockey in Southern California.
Crosby, eight seasons removed from being an 18-year-old on a veteran-laden squad, remembers feeling the need to prove daily that he belongs.
“But to do that you actually have to believe it,” Crosby said. “I think (Bennett) does, and that’s going to help him.”
If nothing else, Bennett’s play so far has shown he is worth the shot the Penguins are giving him.
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Rob Rossi covers the Penguins and NHL for Trib Total Media and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He is Clear Channel’s Penguins Insider. Follow him on Twiter: @RobRossi_Trib.