The Philadelphia Flyers will close out their two-game road trip to the desert tonight with their first ever game against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. This also means it’s the first time that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who the Knights selected from the Flyers in the expansion draft, will face his former team.
Bellemare was a solid checking center for the Flyers, who played in 237 games over the course of three years in Philadelphia. He compiled 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) in those games, but had just eight points in 82 games last season.
Tonight, Bellemare wants to show the Flyers why they should’ve protected him in the expansion draft.
“Maybe show them that they should’ve protected me.” —Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on what he hopes to show the Flyers today.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 11, 2018
Bellemare has five goals and six assists for 11 points this season in Vegas.
Scott Laughton, who the Flyers protected instead of Bellemare, has filled in nicely for the French center on the fourth line. Laughton has 16 points this season (eight goals, eight assists) in 55 games, which is double Bellemare’s total from last season. His possession numbers (51.4% CF, +2.5% CF Relative) are better than Bellemare’s in Philadelphia as well.
The Golden Knights also could’ve chosen Michael Raffl in the expansion draft, but took Bellemare instead. Raffl has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in 55 games this season, including a snipe in last night’s win.
It looks like the Flyers made the right decision in their protection selections, and you could argue that the Knights made the wrong decision with choosing Bellemare over Raffl. However, the Knights are one of the best teams in the league, so they could easily get the last laugh tonight.
The Flyers will take on the Golden Knights in Vegas tonight at 8 p.m.
(Photo by Jason Kopinski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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