Top-ranked NHL prospect Sam Bennett fails to do single pull-up at NHL combine

by May 31, 9:04 PM

The NHL Scouting Combine is in full swing this weekend in Toronto, but the top-ranked prospect's inability to do the same has stolen the headlines. 

Kingston Frontenacs forward Sam Bennett - Central Scouting's top-ranked skater - was unable to complete a single pull-up during his athletic showcase, per the Canadian Press. 

Likely more embarrassing than detrimental, the 17-year-old was discouraged, yet well-coached following his workout. 

"I was definitely disappointed with myself," Bennett said. "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.

"I think (what sets me apart) really just a combination of my hockey sense along with my compete level ... I think I compete as hard, if not harder, than anyone else."

Unlike the 40-yard dash in football or the vertical leap in basketball, the pull-up is hardly a determinant of whether hockey players have the capacity to contribute at the next level, but his debility is fairly alarming. 

That said, NHL prospects are teenagers far from reaching their physical peak, and their strength remains functional, rather than comparative.

Or at least that's what he'll be telling his Frontenac teammates. 

Jun 9, 5:47 PM

NHL prospect Sam Bennett out to prove he can complete a pull-up

by Jun 9, 5:47 PM
Graig Abel / Getty

Sam Bennett's failure to complete a single pull-up at the NHL's scouting combine in May was well documented, and the 17-year-old admitted the virality of the story did "bother" him. As such, the top-ranked prospect is out to prove that he is indeed able to accomplish the feat.

"I know I can do them now", Bennett said, as per Pro Hockey Talk. "I’m going to keep working on it. By the end of the summer, I want to rip off as many as I can, and just prove people wrong.”

Bennett added he's been working on his pull-up game since the combine, and “can already do at least two.”

Once word got out about Bennett's performance (or lack thereof), at least one NHL player reached out to him, namely Jason Spezza of the Ottawa Senators. “I don’t even really know him at all; he trains at my gym,” said Bennett. “He was just, ‘I gotta call this kid, because I feel so bad for him.’ He just talked about how he’s been through a lot of criticism. You’ve got to find a way to deal with it, because it’s going to be there your whole hockey career.”

As one projected to be selected with one of the top three draft picks, Bennett life under the microscope is likely just beginning.