When Beau Bennett signed with the St. Louis Blues as a free agent this summer, he saw it as a fresh start in a career that has been marred by injury and missed opportunity. After an impressive rookie campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012-13, following his surprise early departure from the University of Denver, Bennett looked lay he may be a long-term option for the Eastern Conference dynasty. Yet, in three more seasons with Pittsburgh, Bennett would never play a full-time role for the team nor top his 14-point total from his first campaign. A move to New Jersey last season in exchange for a third-round pick – showing that the league still believed in the 25-year-old’s ability and potential – was supposed to be a new start for Bennett. However, even in a career-high 65 games, Bennett only managed 19 points and was not qualified for the Devils.
Cue the Blues, who signed Bennett right away when free agency opened on July 1st. While the contract was only for the league minimum of $650K, it looked like the young winger still had a shot at a depth role in St. Louis. Those dreams were deterred early on, as Bennett was loaned to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves before even the end of September. Yet, Bennett was recalled to the NHL squad three weeks ago and since had been given six games to prove he could stick in St. Louis. In those six contests, Bennett failed to record a point and took only six shots. He may have seen only 11 minutes or so of ice time per game, but Bennett was still invisible in that sample size.
Unsurprisingly, the once-promising forward is now back in the AHL, according to the Wolves. Bennett had three points in five games for AHL Chicago prior to his call-up, so he may have found a fit with the minor league team. However, when he’ll get his next chance with the Blues and just how many chances he has left in the NHL have now become legitimate questions.