Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Alex Belzile added to the Canadiens rookie camp roster

Alex Belzile spoke earlier this summer of his desire to obtain a contract with the Bulldogs, which he viewed as a stepping stone to his dream of possibly playing in the NHL.  It looks like he didn't exactly get his wish, as he will have to earn his way onto the roster as a training camp tryout.  Last season, he was one of the roster fillers the Bulldogs brought on late, and he did better than the Olivier Fortiers and Philippe Lefebvres and other longshots.

I wonder if he's going to get a serious look, or just be training camp fodder.  He's a right winger and not a bruiser, so he's not optimal as to fit, but he did show something last year.  Dan Kramer of had this to say about him this spring:


AHL Numbers: 14 GP, 3-5-8, -4, 11 PIM

The Skinny: 21 years old, 5’11″, 188 lbs. A late season addition you’ve never heard of who outplayed Danny Kristo. And speaks French.

His Role: A native of St-Eloi, Quebec, Belzile was signed to a tryout late in the year after scoring 30 points in 40 games for the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. At the time, it was likely expected for him to serve as a placeholder until some of Montreal’s junior prospects could join the squad.

His Performance: Belzile performed beyond all expectations, quickly producing and earning a larger role. He found himself almost immediately on a top line with Patrick Holland and Joey Tenute, not looking out of place there. He was moved from the wing to centre once some of the prospects joined the squad, moving to a secondary scoring line to try to spread balance through the team’s units. Belzile plays a simple game. He has a hard shot, though it lacks accuracy. Despite a lack of size, he goes hard to the net, and while not a real hitter, isn’t afraid to engage physically.

Future Outlook: His play should have earned him a longer look with the organization, though I’d be inclined to offer strictly an AHL deal until he can show continued effort over a larger sample size. I could see him starting on such a contract with the Bulldogs, and perhaps earning a two-way NHL contract by year’s end. Would certainly like to see him back.

Here's another writeup.

Again, a depth move by the Canadiens brass, adding a talented forward longshot who could be a late-bloomer, at no cost to the organization, whether by trade or draft pick, or by spending one of the 50 contract slots on him.  There is no downside to this addition.

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