Beau Bennett, a former Los Angeles Jr. King, has signed a one-year contract with Belarus-based Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
A first-round selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft - he’s the highest-picked California-born and -trained player (20th overall) - the 26-year-old Bennett played the majority of last season with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves with whom he posted 12 goals for 57 points in 60 regular-season games. He also played one postseason contest.
In 221 NHL career regular-season and playoff games with the Penguins, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues, Bennett totaled 26 goals for 70 points.
After his 18U AAA season with the Jr. Kings, Bennett played one year with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League on his way to earning a NCAA Division I scholarship at the University of Denver. The Gardena native skated two seasons with the Pioneers before signing with the Penguins in 2012.
Bennett became the first California-born and -trained player to be part of a Stanley Cup champion when the Penguins downed the San Jose Sharks in the finals in 2016.
The KHL is widely considered the premier professional hockey league in Europe and Asia and second in the world behind the NHL.