Philadelphia Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare played his second NHL season, settling into a role as a trusted depth forward.
I’ve already written reviews for Philadelphia Flyers linemates Ryan White and Chris VandeVelde, so it’s about time to do the same for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. As the trio formed one of the Flyers most consistently paired lines, much of what can be said about one of the players could be said about them all.
This is particularly true as between VandeVelde and “Pebbles.” While White is more of a banger, VandeVelde and Pebbles play very similar styles of mostly defensive hockey. They even play together on the penalty kill as well as 5v5.
I’ve actually already written quite a bit about this Flyers line, largely because they received a fair amount of spotlight down the stretch and in the playoffs. At times that spotlight was a bit out of proportion to their contributions.
Compared to VandeVelde, Bellemare’s total of 7 goals looks good compared to Vandy’s 2. In 2 NHL seasons, Bellemare has had season totals of 6 goals and 6 assists, followed by a season of 7 goals and 7 assists. On that count, the Flyers should know what to expect of this 4th line center.
This pegs Bellemare firmly in the realm of depth, defensive forward. Although he skates well, and occasionally shows flashes of smooth skills with the puck, there is little basis to expect more Bellemare. His points rate and possession differential are pretty strong evidence of where he lies.
Furthermore, like VandeVelde, much of his contribution to the team comes on thankless penalty kill work. By at least one measure, Pebbles could be the Philadelphia Flyers’ best penalty killer.
One area where Bellemare could perhaps improve is on faceoffs. He’s about a 47% career faceoff guy, and his faceoff win percentage dropped to 37% this season in shorthanded situations. Improving his faceoff performance could make him that much more effective on the penalty kill.
Ultimately Pebbles is not a player that inspires too much analysis. It is pretty clear what he is, and what he isn’t. Signed for one more season at a modest cap hit of $712,500, Philadelphia Flyers coach Dave Hakstol will surely be happy to have him back next season doing what he does at the back end of the forward rotation.