Denver sophomore forward Beau Bennett has decided to forgo his final two years of NCAA eligibility after signing a three-year contract Friday with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Bennett, drafted in the first round (20th overall) by Pittsburgh in 2010, finishes his DU career with 38 points in 47 games. Bennett tallied 13 points in 10 games this past season before missing 33 games with a wrist injury.

“We are happy for Beau that he is realizing his life-long dream to become a professional hockey player,” Denver coach George Gwozdecky said in a statement. “Beau is big-time talent who would have put up big numbers for us last season if it wasn’t for his injury. We wish Beau continued success and hope to see him in the NHL soon.”

Bennett is the third Denver underclassman to depart early this offseason, joining sophomore forward Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild) and junior forward Drew Shore (Florida Panthers).

  • Guest

    Just another underclassmen with alot of talent headed to the AHL to play.  Seriously, does he think he is going to play in Pittsburgh?

    Have fun in the AHL, I guess its better then going to class.

  • PioneersFan

    When goalie Sam Brittain was hurt late in the 2010-2011 season the D.U. coaching staff had more than a little bit of luck in the summer of 2011 when it found Juho Olkinuora as a goalie to team with Adam Murray until Brittain returnecd from his injury. Truth be told, Olkinuora vastly outplayed Murray and will be the number 2 goalie when D.U. begins practice in the fall of 2012. Brittain will be #1, Olkinuora #2 and it remains to be seen if Murray will return for his senior year or transfer.

    Just as Denver had great luck in finding Olkinuora last summer it will need similiar good fortune this summer in finding at least one player who can come in and make an impact on offense by scoring 10 to 12 goals as a forward.

    Denver will be deep in goal and on the blue line next year [especially if David Makowski is fully recovered from his concussion], but scoring up front as it stands right now will be spotty at best. That’s why Denver needs some luck again this summer and will need to find at least one forward who can score.

    • Guest

      Good call PF. With underclassmen Bennett, Drew Shore and Jason Zucker as well as senior Luke Salazar being gone from this past season’s team, goal-scoring next year for Denver will be scarce. You’re right in saying if the coaching staff doesn’t have some luck finding a bona fide scorer this summer the Pioneers will be in trouble next season.

    • WoooHockey

      There’s another Shore coming in next year.  One of Travis Zajac’s brothers is coming in as well.  At least the names sound good, who knows how well they’ll transition.

      • collegehockeyfan

        only time will tell, both shore brothers were great hockey players, can’t say the same about the two Zajacs, toss up!

  • Fan Man

    Yep, him and Nelson (an others but not sophmores) in the AHL for the next 2 years at least.  Sad but true!


    If he is dirty,cheap and gutless he will fit right in to the penguins org.

  • patrickolson

    Why do these players think that leaving is a good thing? How many underclassmen have we seen leave early and railroad their careers? Especially silly that he is coming off a year where he barely played! Now as a Gopher fan, I’m not sad to see a talented young forward leave, but as a hockey fan it’s sad. 

    All you have to do is look at the past and see what normally happens. This trend pervades college hockey. You would think that they would be getting better advice. 

    I think part of the problem is that the kids get drafted so young, and the NHL teams don’t really care about their own personal development. They just want another body for their team so they push these kids to do things that may not be in the best interest of their long term growth and development. Pro sports need to keep their nose out of college sports IMO.