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  • Top-25 Under-25 #15: Louis Belpedio


    Their loss, I guess.

    Size. Belpedio is just 5'10", and we all know that small defensemen can't play NHL minutes.

    The good news for Belpedio is that once you get drafted, what round you were picked is pretty irrelevant. What matters is what you do and how you develop. And in those regards, Belpedio excelled last season.

    Even though Belpedio is a more offensive defenseman, he had a signature moment in the Frozen Four that had nothing to do with scoring. Down 6-5 to Providence, Belpedio found himself in a position where he had to chase down a puck that was heading towards an empty net. He turned on the jets and made this incredible play.

    Faced with the choice between conceding a crucial empty net goal and potentially doing himself bodily harm, Belpedio took the risk and sacrificed his body to keep his team's hopes alive. It was a play that showed off not only character and grit, but the speed and skating that mobile defensemen need in this era of the NHL.

    While Belpedio has succeeded despite being 5'10", size is a concern going forward with Belpedio and (as is the case with most 19-year-old prospects) he will need to continue to add strength. Though Belpedio might be more sturdy than his listed height lets on, as he's also listed at 196 pounds, which is a pretty stout frame.

    The Jared Spurgeon comparison might seem a bit lazy, but the comparison is based on more than their height. Belpedio's skating, mobility, offensive acumen, and sneaky grit practically screams "Tank 2: Electric Boogaloo". Keep an eye out for him at Miami, and quite likely on the USA World Junior team, as another step forward for Belpedio could force his way into next year's Top-10.

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