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“Just another milestone” – Defenceman Michael Benning looks forward to play with Panthers and maintain his family’s NHL legacy

The ice hockey prospect is hopeful to continue his family’s NHL legacy by joining the Panthers.

Michael Benning

NHL defenceman prospect Michael Benning wishes to uphold the family’s participation in NHL by moving full-speed ahead to his goal of joining the Florida Panthers. His father Brian played 10 NHL seasons while his brother Matt signed a 4-year contract with the San Jose Sharks on July 13 after achieving 11 assists in 65 games with the Nashville Predators last season.

The Panthers selected the 20-year-old defenceman in the 4th round of the 2020 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Michael enjoyed an incredible sophomore season at the University of Denver where he scored the game-winning goal in the NCAA Championship game against Minnesota State. He definitely has an advantage when comparing his playstyle and power with that of his father and brother.

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Michael Benning to pursue his family’s legacy

Michael Benning

Earlier this month in the Panthers training club Michael Benning said, “It’s just another milestone, really”. “It’s trying to improve and get to the next level. The game-winning goal and championship are just kind of icing on top, but it takes a good group of guys to get there. It’s obviously a great accomplishment for me and will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

During his two seasons playing at Denver University, Michael scored 49 points in 62 games including 38 points in 41 games as a sophomore. Prior to that, he had 136 points with 22 goals and 114 assists for Sherwood Park of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 366 NHL games, Matt has 76 points with the Edmonton Oilers and Predators.

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His father on the other hand recorded a score of 296 points in 568 NHL regular season games with 963 penalty minutes. Brian passed down some of his precious stuff to Michael as he started his hockey journey. He stated, “I got some of his vintage stuff”. “I got [an] old shirt, old shorts. It’s always cool to have that generation-to-generation thing.” “There’s been a lot of advice he’s been giving me over the years.”

Following his family’s legacy in NHL, Michael further commented, “For me individually, I just need to get stronger”. “I’m a small guy. Strength doesn’t hurt you. [Get] faster. Keep that mindset of trying to get to the next level.” According to nhl.com, Gregory Campbell vice president of Panthers player personnel and development said, “[Michael is] an offensive-minded defenseman”. “It’s something that we need to keep working on. The skill will always be there”.

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