COLUMBUS— Development camp is finished, and to say the Blue Jackets have a bright future would be a colossal understatement. The prospect pool that the organization has slowly grown over the past couple of years has been rated number one by various analytic and scouting websites.
Spearheading the rankings within the pool is the more recently acquired Adam Fantilli, but not far behind him is the more familiar Luca Del Bel Belluz.
Taken at number 44 in the 2022 draft, Luca has just completed his second development camp within the organization.
He has shown impressive skill, and he has all the tools to be a 25+ goal scorer in the NHL.
While “Del Bel” has all the makings of a National Hockey League player, the Blue Jackets don’t have any reason to put him in the lineup opening night.
Adam Fantilli committing to start in Columbus fills the gap at the 1/2 center position, with the other center being Boone Jenner.
Skill players like Luca playing on the fourth line can be detrimental to development, so having him start in Cleveland makes a lot more sense this year. However, come September if he has a training camp performance that really turns the head of general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen, I could see him sliding into the 3C spot.
He would be competing with Dmitri Voronkov and Jack Roslovic for that position, estimating that Sean Kuraly has the fourth line center position on lock, and Cole Sillinger finds a spot on the already crowded wing position.
Stats From The Past
In 66 games last year for the Mississauga Steelheads and Sarnia Sting, Del Bel Belluz had 40-47-87. In the previous 2021-22 season, he recorded 76 points in 68 games, that year being the first season after the cancelled 2020-21 season. In the season before COVID, he only recorded five points in 58 games.
According to Elite Prospects, Del Bel Belluz stands at 6’0, and weighs in at 179 lbs. He told me at development camp that he put a couple of pounds on since last season, and he feels as though he is in better shape than last year.
-Ian Phillips for Yamo Media