The second summer of Ron Hextall’s tenure as general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins saw him rebuild the minor league system. Part of that change allowed several prospects to walk into free agency, including Jordy Bellerive.
Bellerive, a 23-year-old center, has signed with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Phantoms are the minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Vancouver native spent three seasons with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, scoring 30 goals and 39 assists in 157 games with the team.
Although Bellerive doesn’t plan to make a difference at the NHL level, he could become a solid depth player down the line for a rebuilding Flyers organization.
Last season was his most productive as he scored 29 points (8-21) in 72 games. He also led the AHL Penguins in penalty minutes last year with 112.
Players don’t switch between the Penguins and Flyers organizations often, but the pipeline seems more open since the hiring of Hextall, who was the Flyers’ general manager from 2014-2018.
Hextall’s first official move with the Penguins was to claim defenseman Mark Friedman off waivers for the Flyers. Most recently, Hextall signed college free agent Jack St. Ivany, who was Hextall’s draft pick with the Flyers in 2018.
Other names to play for both organizations in this heated rivalry are Max Talbot, Jaromir Jagr and Rick Tocchet.
The AHL rivalry between the Phantoms and Penguins is still intense, but with chippy Bellerive running down the hall, it’s about to get even more aggressive.
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