According to TSN on Friday, the Calgary Flames have signed their first round pick, Sam Bennett from the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs, to an entry level contract. According to capgeek, Bennett will be making $925,000 in each of the next three seasons.
Even though Bennett was drafted fourth overall at the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft this past June in Philadelphia, many projected Bennett to be a first overall draft pick. In 57 regular season games with Kingston this past year, Bennett has 36 goals and 55 assists for 91 points.
Bennett was the second signing for the Flames this past week. On Thursday, the Flames signed Joni Ortio to a two year contract worth $1.2 million. Expect Ortio to be the number one goaltender for the Adirondack Flames, the Calgary Flames’ new American Hockey League affiliate after they moved from Abbotsford in the offseason. Ortio did see some action in Calgary last year, as he played ten games, had a record of 4-5-1, with a 2.84 goals against average.
Ortio is behind Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo on the Flames’ depth chart at the present time. However Hiller, who was signed by the Flames last month from the Anaheim Ducks, needs to be significantly better than he was at the latter end of last season, if he hopes to be the Flames’ number one goaltender all season long. If Hiller struggles for an extended period of time, he could be challenged by Ramo or Ortio.
The Vancouver Canucks meanwhile have also signed their first overall pick. On Friday, they signed right winger Jake Virtanen, who was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Virtanen also has a Calgary connection, as he played his junior career with the Calgary Hitmen, which are owned by the Calgary Flames. This past year Virtanen led the Hitmen with 45 goals and added 26 assists for 71 points.