Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Some Quick Adjustments Prospect Bellerive Bounces Back after Burn Injuries

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Some Quick Adjustments Prospect Bellerive Bounces Back after Burn Injuries

Article excerpt

Jordy Bellerive lifted his left hand and pinched the webbing between his thumb and forefinger. The skin was a cloudy sunset of pink and purple and slightly raised, the aftermath of burns that took the skin off both hands.

"With the tightness in my hand here, the webbing, it doesn't open up very well," Bellerive, 20, a Penguins prospect, said. "I just had to tweak my hand positioning and stuff like that and find different ways to hit pockets than the way I was doing it before."

Bellerive suffered those burns in June 2018. He returned to competition three months later and scored 33 goals with 50 assists for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, Bellerive's juniors team. The performance earned him a three-game stint with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. This season, Bellerive plans to prove that he belongs in professional hockey.

"I don't have any intentions of going back to junior hockey," he said last week at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

Bellerive went undrafted in 2017 but performed well enough at that year's prospect development camp that the Penguins signed him to an entry-level contract. He followed that with his best juniors season, scoring 46 goals with 46 assists. Then, in June 2018, a campfire gone wrong threatened the contact points between player and stick.

On June 15, according to a WHL statement, Bellerive, teammate Ryan Vandervlis and former WHL player Matt Alfaro all had "injuries resulting from an incident involving the starting of a campfire" near Calgary a night before a planned day of golf. Doctors put Vandervlis into a medically induced coma. The Vandervlis family said in a statement that alcohol was not a factor in the incident. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement that "a substance was placed into a fire-pit that caused an explosion."

The skin on Bellerive's hands turned bright red and began to blister. …

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