Sam Bennett could potentially be selected No. 1 at the 2014 NHL entry draft this June, but regardless of where he lands, the top prospect won't be chosen for his physical prowess.
That's because Bennett, a center with the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs, was unable to perform a single pull-up during Saturday's fitness testing at the scouting combine, according to The Canadian Press' Stephen Whyno, via the Winnipeg Free Press.
Following the head-scratching effort, the 17-year-old Bennett admitted that he was unhappy with his performance, but he ultimately had the last laugh, per Whyno:
"I was definitely disappointed with myself. I was wanting to do the best I can in every test. But, I guess, ultimately games aren't won or lost if you can do a pull-up in the gym."
What do you make of Sam Bennett's performance?
To put Bennett's performance into perspective, his zero pull-ups were 12 behind the combine leaders, per Whyno.
Despite Bennett's shockingly awful display of upper-body strength, don't expect him to fall out of draft boards across the league.
As NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr points out, teams aren't pursuing Bennett or other prospects on account of their physical strength, but instead their ability to bring something unique to the ice. According to Marr, via Whyno, several NHL teams believe that Bennett is "a pretty complete package."
Twitter user Justin Dickie was one of many across social media who came to Bennett's defense:
The thing about Sam Bennett not being able to do pull ups is that you can train Sam Bennett to do pull ups. You can't teach skill.— Justin Dickie (@jdickie) May 31, 2014
Meanwhile, Ohio Bobcats hockey play-by-play announcer Nick Hart had a much more common reaction to the stunning report:
Sam Bennett (No. 1, NHL Central Scouting) did zero pull ups at the combine. I have never felt better about my physical fitness in my life.— Nick Hart (@_NickHart) May 31, 2014
While Bennett's disappointment and embarrassment is sure to be short-lived as his undeniable skill is what makes him a top-flight prospect, the story will surely be revisited in the future if he does indeed turn out to be a star in the NHL.
For now, teams are likely still lining up to draft the Canadian junior player, who can always pack on muscle and increase his strength once he joins the professional ranks.
And based on the goose egg he posted on Saturday, he'll need to.
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