Habs Sign Prospect Mac Bennett to Two-Year ELC

Mac Bennett Photo: Paul Sherman, Michigan Daily

Mac Bennett
Photo: Paul Sherman, Michigan Daily

Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of 2009 draft pick Mac Bennett to a two-year entry level contract today. Bennett, a senior at the University of Michigan, just wrapped up his NCAA hockey career. Bennett’s two-year deal kicks in at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, meaning that he is currently not under contract for this season. Bennett will remain at school to finish his musicology major and nurse his shoulder injury, meaning that he will not finish the season with the Bulldogs.

Bennett is a highly mobile defenceman gifted with a beautiful, explosive stride, along with top-notch speed and fantastic agility. Bennett is highly intelligent player, noted for his hard work and leadership. Bennett possesses good puck control and an accurate shot, but his offensive capability is based around his passing ability. Over the course of his 136 game NCAA career Bennett greatly improved his defensive ability as he now is a very solid two-way defenceman. Bennett’s mobility and active stick allow him to break up scoring chances and quickly recover from mistakes. Despite being merely average-sized at 6′ 195 lbs, Bennett is able to win puck battles on a consistent basis. However, Bennett is prone to poor reads both offensively and defensively. Although he possesses an accurate shot, Bennett’s shot isn’t particularly hard and he tends to avoid using it for the most part. Furthermore, Bennett can go stretches where he doesn’t make much of an impact on the game.

The Montreal Canadiens selected Mac Bennett 79th in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Bennett spent his draft year with Hotchkiss School of the USHS, grabbing 11 points in 15 games. The following season, Bennett moved on to the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Bennett earned himself a spot in the USHL All-Star Game and wrapped up the season with 9 goals and 23 points in 53 games.

The following season, Bennett moved on the University of Michigan Wolverines, joining fellow Canadiens prospect, Greg Pateryn. Bennett played 32 games in his freshman season, scoring twice and adding 10 assists. The following season saw Bennett’s destroy his totals set in his rookie season, posting four goals and 17 assists in 41 games. Bennett and Pateryn became the top pairing on the Wolverines’ blue line, playing in all situations. Despite losing his defensive partner, Bennett still had a very successful junior season, forming a duo with Winnipeg Jet, Jacob Trouba. Bennett racked up six goals—a career-high—and 12 assists. Bennett also saw a tremendous amount of growth in his two-way game and was an alternate captain.

Mac Bennett saluting the crowd in final game at the Yost Ice Arena Photo: Paul Sherman, Michigan Daily

Mac Bennett saluting the crowd in final game at the Yost Ice Arena
Photo: Paul Sherman, Michigan Daily

Bennett was named captain of the Wolverines this past season, where he emerged as the team’s number one defenceman. The effortless skater logged an obscene amount of minutes against the opposition’s best. Bennett also grabbed 14 points in 31 games and a +12 rating, all while spending the vast majority of his time partnered with freshman, Michael Downing. For his strong senior season Bennett was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Bennett finished his NCAA career with 14 goals, 51 assists, 65 points, and a +40 rating in 136 games.

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8 Responses to Habs Sign Prospect Mac Bennett to Two-Year ELC

  1. Although this site does very little business, we at habfans.com see this article and wonder how you an Possibly praise scouting director Trevor Timmins, who Missed out on stars like Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Mike Richards etc for that bum Kostitsyn. How about Chipchura, David (yikes) Fischer..Who would you rather have, Chris Kreider or Louis Lebust. How come this team has to play defensemen nobody even wants in Weaver, Boullion, and Murray?? Do you realize a few games ago, Montreal had EIGHT fowards on the ice from other teams Briere, Bourque, Gionta, Moen, Parros, Weisse, Prust and Vanek. After 12 years of drafting by Timmins, this is a disgrace. So keep prining articles on Habs draft prospects, lately theyve looked more like Suspects. One and done in the playoffs once again..

    Insane_Hussein March 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm Reply
  2. The majority of Habs fans want Timmins gone, accoding to polls at Habfans.com and HIO So far, do you realize that Pacioretty will be the Only Habs foward to reach the Magical 50 Point plateau?? Er, Tht’s not FIFTY GOALS That’s 50 Points. How sad is That!!

    Scalestick March 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm Reply
    • The majority of Habs fans want Timmins gone? I dont think that is the case nor do I think you can say majority based on two polls. Not only is the fan base huge and crosses around the world, I have only seen pockets of people blame Timmins for some players drafted. Timmins is known for his work for later rounds in the draft, not the first. Theres more at play when it comes to first round picks. Plus it came out that Gainey had to do with Fischer in 06. So before we rip Timmins or say majority want him gone, do more research besides two polls, especially one that is a site that I doubt many fans even know exists.

      Michael Gomez March 27, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply
  3. I’m inclined to agree that Timmins has done a poor job. The Hamilton team is a collective of mediocre players. Name one player in the Habs organization who has done so well in the minors that the team brought him up because he had outgrown the competition in the minors. Even Tinordi and Beaulieu have mediocre stats this year, and they have been called up at times only because Murray and Bouillon are a nightmare.

    The idea is supposed to be that first and second round draft picks become solid contributors to the team. Late round draft picks become pleasant surprises. A really really good later round draft pick becomes the SOD- the steal of the draft. Which Hab fits that category?

    Chet Pomeroy March 29, 2014 at 8:42 am Reply
    • “Poor stats” is a weak argument. Hamilton has been terrible offensively for the past two years. They added one of the league’s best players, and guess what? They still can’t score. Clearly, the problem goes beyond the prospects. Maybe, it’s Bergevin for not properly supplying the team. Maybe, it’s Lefebvre, for using a poor system and not being a good coach. Maybe, it’s those in player development, for not properly aiding the players. Or most likely, it’s a combination.

      As for Tinordi: he’s a defensive defenceman, “poor stats” is a horrible argument for a player who has a improved an insane amount. For Beaulieu: yes, he’s struggled at times, but he has also made improvement. Using stats to prove a point about junior and AHL players is simply flawed. Advanced stats should be a staple in every hockey fan’s arsenal, but there aren’t any for those leagues.

      Well that “idea” is flawed, considering at most 2/3 of first round and 1/3 of second round picks have meaningful NHL careers. Late round picks that have turned out great? Halak and Streit.

      You guys want someone to blame, there’s lots of options in the organization. Timmins has produced 16 active NHLers, including four star players, and four more who are a year removed from being active NHLers. Bergevin has undeniably done a poor job stocking Hamilton shelves with veterans. Gainey and Gauthier also traded away a lot of talent that Timmins drafted. Lefebvre has done a poor job in the AHL. Therrien is always an easy target, too.

      Simply put, blaming Timmins is complete ignorance. Patience people.

      Mitch Brown March 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm Reply
      • Well, if you don’t use stats to measure performance, then what do you use? I’ll concede that the Habs have made terrible decisions in trading away too many draft picks (Tanguay anyone), and they also traded away prospects like McDonagh,which was also a disaster. The Habs actually drafted McDonagh, Subban and Pacioretty in the same draft so it’s not all bad. But they also have had their share of misses too. I think what the critics are reacting here is getting excited about prospects who have shown average development. When the Hamilton team starts devouring the level of competition THEY PLAY, then you can start bragging about how great Timmins is. Blaming everything on the coaches/GM is a tired old song nobody wants to hear.

        Chet Pomeroy March 30, 2014 at 7:29 am Reply
        • Hockey’s a great sport, maybe you could try watching it? Stats are important, but they don’t tell the entire story.

          Considering that the average NHL draft pick never even sniffs the NHL, the Habs have done quite well. It appears as though you’re coming to your conclusion from recent performance (say 5 years), and not what is already in the past. With prospects, it takes about five years for most to begin their NHL career. Tinordi, Beaulieu, Leblanc, Dumont and of course Galchenyuk and Gallagher have seen time in the NHL. I get it, there are some very frustrating misses. Leblanc has lost his will to compete, which is his doing, and Fischer reportedly had an ego as big as Texas.

          Actually, considering most of the Habs community (unfairly or fairly) blames them, I’d say many want to hear that tied old song. What Timmins does is just the beginning. There are many more people involved in the process of prospect development. Lefebvre, Dufresne, and Lebeau in Hamilton, Churla and Jay in amateur scouting, Brisebois and Lapointe in player development, and of course Dudley, Bergevin, etc. who all are involved in prospects, too.

          The point is, there are so many involved in the process that you can’t just pin the blame on one person. Drafting and development is a complicated area – no two prospects are the same and development isn’t linear. Considering that to many it seems random, the Habs organization has done quite well.

          Patience is key.

          Mitch Brown March 30, 2014 at 10:11 am Reply
    • I think you have no idea of how the draft works and the percentages of players from different rounds becoming NHLers.

      Michael Gomez March 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm Reply

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