Bellemare became the ninth France-born player to reach the NHL when he made the cut with the Philadelphia Flyers for the start of the 2014-15 season at age 29. Were it not for the eight years he spent playing in Sweden, though, the native of the Paris suburb of Le Blanc-Mesnil said he might never have worn an NHL sweater.
Bellemare spent his last eight seasons in Sweden playing in the Swedish Elite League for Skelleftea AIK. He developed into an NHL-worthy player in that span, scoring 64 goals and 125 points in 238 games and helping Skelleftea win the SEL title in 2013 and 2014. Bellemare credits his coaches at Skelleftea for helping to hone his faceoff skills and improving his work in the defensive zone.