Expectations have always been sky high for Sam Bennett, especially since the former OHL standout was picked by the Calgary Flames fourth overall in the 2014 entry draft. After a solid yet unspectacular rookie season last year that saw Bennett notch 18 goals and 36 points, most expected the young center to take another step this year.

In his second season, though, Bennett’s nine goals and 18 points have him on pace to finish just shy of his rookie totals. Mired in a seven-game goalless drought and with only three points over his past 17 games, Bennett is certainly going through a bit of a sophomore slump.

In addition to his production being shy of the lofty expectations many had, Bennett’s underlying numbers aren’t exactly inspiring either. Despite being given the second most offensive zone starts of any of the teams’ centers behind only Sean Monahan, Bennett is carrying the worst possession numbers of the four, with a 47 Corsi percentage (-4.5 percent relative to the rest of the team).

So, with his entry-level contract set to expire at the end of this season, what should the Flames do with Bennett as he becomes an RFA? How is management meant to evaluate and project the future with a player who is clearly still developing?