|6’1”||178||11-10-2003||C||Left||51st 2019||C Prospect||CANADA|
|2018-2019||Under-16||Toronto Red Wings||31||20||12||32||18|
|2020-2021||OHL||DID NOT PLAY|
I feel that NHL Central Scouting’s ranking of a C-Prospect for Luca Del Bel Belluz if the Mississauga Steelheads was the result of the lost Ontario Hockey League season of a year ago due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It has affected many players throughout the OHL and I wonder how things may be different had they OHL played. That said, it could all change come draft day in June.
At 6’1, Del Bel Belluz has some good size but he is a lanky 178 pounds. He’s getting top line minutes and opportunities on the powerplay and his production has not disappointed. He currently leads Mississauga in assists with 17 and is second on the team in goals (14) and points (31) in just 26 games. He trails James Hardie by just one point. His 5 game winning goals leads the team easily. His 14 goals come on just 77 shots on goal for an 18.2 shooting-percentage, also tops on his squad.
There is much more to like about Del Bel Belluz than just his name. He is extremely creative with the puck, protects it well, has excellent vision and an uncanny ability to buy time and space for himself and his teammates. He is as effective at dishing the puck on his backhand as he is on his forehand. He can play the forecheck and cycle game very effectively. He’s not the hardest worker on the ice, but you can’t knock his effort.
Del Bel Belluz is effective in his own zone as well. He understands where the center needs to be and he gets there. He has somewhat of a long reach and is very effective in getting his stick in lanes and taking away opportunities. He can sometimes be overpowered by players his size, and this is where adding some bulk will help improve that part of his game.
His game is not all perfect. Skating, or more specifically his mechanics, needs some work. Some tweaking there will help him generate more power in both his first steps and overall speed. If he could have a separation gear, there’s no telling what he may be capable of. And that’s the thing with skating. As you move up in levels of hockey, the skating coaches improve but sometimes it’s not easy getting a player to change his mechanics when he’s been skating the same way for years.
Only time will tell if he can improve, but I know he will put the effort required into it. He’s trending up in the scouting world and I would bet that as of now, he is probably a mid to late second round pick.