First-rounder bolts to KHL despite receiving NHL offer

This is unexpected...

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Sometimes a change of scenery is the best solution for a player to kick back into gear and find his offensive touch again. However, a major change in scenery, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, is quite the significant move for forward Beau Bennett. 

Especially when a National Hockey League team was looking to bring him on board. 

On Friday morning, it was announced by Kontinental Hockey League insider Aivis Kalnins, and then confirmed by the league and the team, that Bennett has signed a one-year contract with the Dinamo Minsk. 

However, a week ago, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the St. Louis Blues had presented Bennett with a qualifying offer. Last year, Bennett was waived by the Blues before the 2017-18 season began, but he cleared waivers and was assigned to Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League. 

He was called up less than a month later to make a run for a roster spot, but he did not manage to impress. He was sent back down to the minors after registering no points a minus-2 rating in just six games. 

But Bennett did not give up: the 26-year-old winger's exceptional play with the Wolves, where he tallied 12 goals and 57 points in 60 games, forced the Blues to retain his rights.

However he has now chosen to take his talents to Russia and grow his game overseas. No one has ruled out an eventual return to the NHL in the future. 

Bennett was a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins back in the 2010 NHL Entry draft, where they selected him with the 20th overall pick. He spent four seasons in the organization before being dealt to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round selection at the draft in June 2016, after winning the Stanley Cup with the club. 

There was another controversy there: Bennett's name did not end up on the trophy. Bennett played 33 regular-season games and appeared in one playoff contest for the Penguins during their championship season. But that didn't stop him from enjoying a full day with the Cup back in California that summer. 

After the Devils did not sign him back in an extension last summer, Bennett ended up in St. Louis. A lot of movement for the forward, however this much bigger move might be the one he needs to get back in the game.