Carolina’s 2007 sixth-round pick to begin professional career in 2008-09
RALEIGH, NC—Ron Francis, Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Brett Bellemore on a three-year, entry-level contract. The deal will pay Bellemore an average of $500,000 per season in the NHL and an average of $55,000 per season in the minor leagues. Bellemore also receives a $100,000 signing bonus as a part of the contract.
“Brett is a big and smart defenseman who can log a lot of minutes,” said Francis. “He played well in Albany at the end of the year, and we look forward to watching his development as a professional.”
Bellemore, 19, completed his third season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League in 2007-08, scoring six goals, earning 18 assists (24 points) and accumulating 70 penalty minutes in 56 regular-season games. Following Plymouth’s exit from the OHL playoffs, Bellemore (6’4”, 200 lbs.) finished the season with Carolina’s top minor-league affiliate, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League, playing in four of Albany’s last six regular-season games, and five of the team’s seven postseason games.
In 2006-07, the Windsor, Ont., native was named Plymouth’s Most Improved Player when he led all Canadian Hockey League defensemen with a plus-48 plus/minus rating, and helped the Whalers to the OHL championship. In three seasons of major-junior hockey, Bellemore played in 152 regular-season games, scoring six goals and earning 30 assists (36 points), and helping Plymouth make the playoffs in each of his three seasons. Carolina drafted Bellemore in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.