It looks like the Vegas Golden Knights have set their sights on forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare as part of the NHL expansion draft.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is headed to Sin City.
Ahead of Wednesday night’s official announcement at the NHL Awards, word has leaked that the Vegas Golden Knights have chosen the 32-year old from Paris in the NHL expansion draft.
Craig Custance of TheAthleticDET revealed the information via his Twitter feed Wednesday afternoon.
Sounds like it's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare headed to Vegas from Philly.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 21, 2017
Bellemare will be going into his fourth season in the NHL and while he had a down year last season, his numbers are still impressive enough to see why the Golden Knights would be interested in adding him to their new franchise.
In Bellemare’s rookie campaign he played in 81 games and finished six goals and six assists. During the 2016-16 season he had seven goals and seven assists for a total of 14 points over 74 games. Last season Bellemare’s numbers were down, with only four goals and four assists in 82 games, but given the logjam at forward the team experienced, that isn’t all that shocking.
Bellemare has earned a reputation as a solid penalty killer, can play both ends of the ice and was named as an alternate captain for the Philadelphia Flyers after the departure of Mark Streit.
But what was probably most attractive to Las Vegas was the fact Bellemare had just signed a two-year, $2.9 million contract last March, which for a new franchise provides much more flexibility.
The Flyers left a number of key players unprotected that many felt the Golden Knights might be more interested in, including Michal Neuvirth, Michael Raffl and Dale Weise. But with the loss of Bellemare, it opens up some more options for head coach Dave Hakstol with what he can do with his lines next season.
Bellemare had a lot of fans in the Flyers locker room, but of all the players the team could have lost in the expansion draft, this is one of the best case scenarios. It gives the Flyers a great chance to hold on to free agent Jordan Weal and relieves some of the issues at the forward position.
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The bottom line is it could have been a lot worse.
The Vegas Golden Knights will officially announce their selections Wednesday night at the NHL Awards at around 8 PM.