So this is what NHL draft prospect Sam Bennett looks like now that he has a year of junior hockey experience. The Kingston Frontenacs, a certified contender in the OHL's Eastern Conference, routed the Peterborough Petes with a season-opening 11-4 win on Thursday.
Sometimes it is hard to pick out one moment from such a display. Not in this case, though. On the last Frontenacs goal, Bennett, the centre who wears the No. 93 that his general manager Doug Gilmour popularized with the Toronto Maple Leafs during his Hall of Fame career, beat three Petes to score a beauty goal.
The 17-year-old did the old 'step into my web' double-back move after gaining the blueline. The Petes checkers, 19-year-old defenceman Steven Trojanovic and 18-year-old Jonathan Tanus, were both gulled, and then had time to plot out a backhand-forehand deke on Michael Giugovaz. It all starts 2:22 into the recap.
Bennett, part of Kingston's bumper crop of 1996-birth prospects that includes his linemate Spencer Watson and defencemen Dylan DiPerna, Roland McKeown and Matthew Watson, has had the creativity and confidence to attempt such plays from the moment he arrived in the OHL. Now a year older and more mature, he's able to use to greater effect.
Kingston was minus five veterans due to NHL camps and suspensions, yet still put it up to 11 vs. Peterborough. It's only one game, but that showing might be the talker of the OHL's opening weekend. It was Kingston's highest one-game output since Jan. 1, 2007.
Holy 11-4 Kingston over Peterborough. Looks like they'll live up to the hype. Finally. Good for the franchise and their tortured fans. #OHL
— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) September 20, 2013
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (video: TV Cogeco Ontario).