If one good thing came of Carolina's blueline injuries last season, it was the opportunity to get a closer look at some of the team’s defensive prospects and determine if they had a future in the NHL. No one arguably made more of an impression than 25-year-old Brett Bellemore, who used his eight-game audition in Raleigh to surprise many by holding his own in the NHL.
Bellemore was rewarded for his performance Friday, signing a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $600,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL. Bellemore, who was a pending unrestricted free agent, is guaranteed to earn at least $250,000. Bellemore registered two assists while with the Hurricanes, and led the Charlotte Checkers defense with a plus-11 and 87 penalty minutes.
Here's the release from the Hurricanes.
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH BRETT BELLEMORE
Defenseman made NHL debut in 2012-13
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Brett Bellemore (BREHT BEHL-mohr) on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Bellemore $600,000 on the NHL level or $150,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level, with a guarantee of at least $250,000.
Bellemore, 25, made his NHL debut with the Hurricanes on March 21, and registered two assists and seven penalty minutes in eight NHL games during the 2012-13 season. The Windsor, Ont., native also scored two goals and earned 11 assists (13 points) in 68 AHL games with the Charlotte Checkers in 2012-13. He led all Checkers defenseman with a plus-11 plus/minus rating, and his 87 penalty minutes also led team blueliners.
The Hurricanes drafted Bellemore (6’4", 210 lbs.) in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. In four full professional seasons with Carolina’s AHL affiliates in Albany and Charlotte, he has notched six goals, earned 32 assists and accumulated 312 penalty minutes.