Can a Frenchman find a good cheesesteak in Las Vegas?
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is about to find out. The Philadelphia Flyers left wing was chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights to fill out its inaugural roster for the 2017-18 season.
The Flyers left Bellemare, a fourth-line forward and penalty kill specialist who scored 4 goals and 4 assists in 82 games, exposed to the draft and the Golden Knights happily plucked him for their roster Wednesday night.
He’s tallied 17 goals and 17 assists in 237 National Hockey League regular season games and 1 assist in five Stanley Cup Playoffs contests.
Bellemare, the ninth NHL player born in France, had a memorable 2016-17 season that began with him playing a key role on Team Europe in September’s World Cup of Hockey and ended with him being a catalyst on the French national team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship played in Paris and Cologne in May.
The Flyers didn’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season but the team rewarded Bellemare, 32, for his play by re-signing him to a two-year deal at $1.45 million per year and by making him an assistant captain, sharing the honor with high-scoring right wing Wayne Simmonds.
Bellemare was the only player of color chosen by the Golden knights out of 17 minority players that were draft-available. They were among a host of forwards, defensemen and goaltenders exposed to the draft by the NHL’s 30 teams.