Our annual, 2020 version of the top players under the age of 25 in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
#16: Jordy Bellerive , C/LW
2019 Ranking: #8
Age: 21 (DOB: May 2, 1999)
Acquired: Undrafted free agent (2017)
Height/Weight: 5’11”/194 pounds
Per Clare McManus at Dobber Prospects:
Bellerive had a slow start to the season mostly playing a bottom-six role, while also serving as a healthy scratch for a few games. He struggled to get points, but as the year went on he progressively started showcasing his skill. In the last 26 games, before the pause on the season, Bellerive put up 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. Bellerive ended up finishing his first pro year with 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points in 53 games. If he wants a chance at cracking the NHL next year, he needs to work on making his two-way game more complete.
Per Seth Rorabaugh at Trib Live:
Primarily used as a top-six forward in juniors, Bellerive, who was an occasional healthy scratch early in the season, has been trying to adapt to a bottom-six role. Despite his modest size, the speedy Bellerive is not afraid to mix things up physically.
Bellerive likely won’t be a top-six center in the professional ranks as he was in juniors. If he is to make it in the NHL, he needs to adapt to the more arduous tasks of a third- or fourth-line role. Thus far, he has taken some baby steps in that direction.
VIDEO: ... and the Jordy Bellerive goal in overtime that ended the game: pic.twitter.com/KU7cFxV17t— Jason Iacona (@nafsnep) January 22, 2020
After lighting the lamp on the regular basis as a top line player in the junior ranks, it seems like Jordy Bellerive is destined for a bottom-six role as a professional. At least that seems to be the consensus takeaway after his first pro season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2019-20.
Bellerive originally signed with the Penguins as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but finished out his junior career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL where he was a point producing machine. His performance at the junior level helped establish him as one of the best prospects in the Penguins system.
While the offensive side of his game did not translate from the junior level to the pros, Bellerive and the Penguins must be thrilled for him to be in this position at all after what happened in the June of 2018. In case you forgot, Bellerive was badly burned in a campfire accident that nearly derailed his entire career. Luckily, he was able to recover in time for his final junior season where he played 68 games and posted 83 points.
Coming off four successful seasons in the WHL, Bellerive made the professional leap last season with the Baby Pens. Bellerive appeared in 53 games with WBS scoring 12 goals as part of his 22 point total, a far cry from the numbers he was putting up in juniors, but he was playing in a reduced bottom-six role.
Transitioning to a lower line role did not come easy for Bellerive, but as the season crawled along, he became a consistent presence in the WBS lineup and was learning to play a more grinding style before the season came to a sudden halt. It will now be up to Bellerive to continue to build on his late season success whenever the new AHL season begins.
Standing at only 5’11”, Bellerive is a bit undersized for the role the Penguins are asking him to play at the professional level, but his natural speed and skill give him an edge over other players he may be going up against as a bottom-six player. Although the speed and skill is a nice attribute to have, any further pro development will depend on his ability to wear other players down.
While an eight spot drop in our rankings from a year ago might seem alarming, it more or less signals his ceiling as a professional is lower than many thought while he was piling in points as a junior player. Based on what we saw from him last season, all signs point to Bellerive being a bottom-six player at the NHL level, and there is still much work to be done before that call up ever comes.