From the moment he walked in the door to the Pistons’ dressing room, it seems like the smile hasn’t come off of Luke Bellerose’s face.
Except out on the ice.
The Pistons made one acquisition on trade deadline day, getting Bellerose from the Dryden Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
The 20-year-old from High Prairie, Alberta arrived in Steinbach from Dryden the following Monday, and he is looking forward to contributing to the Pistons down the stretch. “It’s a really good atmosphere out on the ice,” Bellerose explained. “Everyone out there is putting in 100% effort and trying to improve their game with every drill. Creativity in practice is encouraged, and that alone has really helped me settle in and feel comfortable.”
Bellerose registered 34 points in 24 games with Dryden before coming to Steinbach. “I’ve always thought of myself as a power forward,” Bellerose said when asked to describe his game. “I like to play in the more physical areas of the ice and that’s also where I find the most success on the scoreboard.”
Bellerose got into his first game with the Pistons on January 20th against the Neepawa Natives, and made an immediate impact by notching two assists. He played on a line with Brady Tatro and Easton Bennett, who scored two goals that night. “We all play a physical, hardworking brand of hockey, and we focused on winning our puck battles,” Bellerose said. “We pushed pucks to the higher scoring opportunities of the ice and were lucky enough to pop two of those chances in the back of the net.”
He picked up right where he left off against the Selkirk Steelers this past weekend, picking up an assist in each game, bringing his total up to 4 points in 3 games. Bellerose got to play his first home game with the Pistons on one of its biggest days of the year at Miller Day. “It was a lot of fun out there,” he commented. “It was one of the biggest and most involved crowds I’ve ever played in front of. A great atmosphere all around.”
Bellerose is enjoying his time in Steinbach since being acquired almost 3 weeks ago. “It’s been awesome here so far,” he explained. “The city itself has everything a person could need. The support from the community is second to none, and that’s not a luxury that a lot of junior players get.”
With the Pistons sitting in first place in the MJHL standings, and the final month of the season ahead of them, Bellerose knows that his new team has to continue their great play down the stretch before the playoffs. “Playoff hockey is every player’s dream, and at this point in the season all of these games are big ones,” he says. “We’re looking forward to all of them. We have a good group here already; I think as intensity picks up towards the end of the regular season, we will be there to answer the bell.”