Luca Del Bel Belluz Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #37

Luca Del Bel Belluz Scouting Report

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The Mississauga Steelheads had a much better season than most experts expected. One of the key reasons for that was an unexpected breakout performance from Luca Del Bel Belluz. A third-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection Draft (51st overall), he scored just one goal and five assists for six points in his rookie season in 2019-20. This was followed by him missing the entire 2020-21 season with the OHL campaign being cancelled due to COVID-19. Del Bel Belluz came into his draft season as a relative unknown in scouting circles.

He would not fly under the radar for long though. Del Bel Belluz had an excellent season scoring 30 goals and 46 assists for 76 points in 68 games played. Del Bel Belluz helped the Steelheads to a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. He also added one goal and three assists for four points in 10 playoff games. Del Bel Belluz and the Steelheads defeated the Barrie Colts in six games in the first round of the OHL Playoffs. However, they ran into the stacked Hamilton Bulldogs team in the second round and fell in a four-game sweep.

Luca Del Bel Belluz Scouting Report

Centre — shoots Left
Born November 10th, 2003 — Woodbridge, Ontario
Height 6’0.5″ — Weight 179 lbs [185 cm/81 kg]

Skating

The biggest reason for Del Bel Belluz’s breakout campaign is the vast improvements in his skating since his rookie year in the OHL. While there is still some room for improvement, this is no longer a liability that holds him back. His stride is still far too wide which takes away from his top-end speed and acceleration. He is merely average in these areas. However, his edgework and agility are much improved. Del Bel Belluz uses his crossovers to gain speed and power out of his turns. He is much better at weaving in and out of traffic than he is skating in a straight line. Del Bel Belluz will need to add lower body strength as well. He can be knocked off the puck at times. He also struggles when battling along the boards or in front of the net against bigger and stronger opponents.

Offensive Game

Del Bel Belluz can be a playmaker as well as a goal scorer. He has very good hands. He combines this with his ability to move laterally or to make quick cuts to create space in the offensive zone and open up passing and shooting lanes. A smart player, he takes advantage of openings when they are there. Del Bel Belluz can also hesitate a bit and slow down the play and wait for a teammate to get open when he doesn’t have a play. When that teammate does get open, he can make a quick move on a defender and make a tape-to-tape pass through a tight passing lane. He is especially effective at quarterbacking the play from the half-wall/face-off circle on the power play.

Del Bel Belluz can also play the role of playmaker. His wrist shot is powerful and accurate. He also uses those quick hands to change the angle on his shot just before his release. Del Bel Belluz can also score when working off the half-boards on the power play. He also has a knack for getting open and finding open space in the offensive zone. He sets himself up to get off a quick wrist shot or a one-timer.

Del Bel Belluz’s lack of speed can be an issue in transition though. He doesn’t do a good job of carrying the puck through the neutral zone and finding open space to generate efficient zone entries. Instead, he is forced to move the puck to teammates and come into the zone as a trailer.

Defensive Game

Del Bel Belluz’s defensive game is a bit hit and miss. He comes back in the zone and gets his stick into good positions. This helps him to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. He is also good at poke-checking the puck away from an opponent. Once a turnover is created, Del Bel Belluz looks to head-man the puck and start the transition game with a good first pass.

He has some issues with physical play though. Del Bel Belluz is a bit slight in stature and needs to get stronger going forward. He struggles with bigger opponents at the junior level. He has issues containing opponents to the outside in the cycle game. This could be an even bigger issue in the pro game when he is playing against men. However, he also has time to add muscle to his frame.

Projection and Comparison

Del Bel Belluz could develop into a top-six forward with time. He has been used at centre in Mississauga but given the concerns about his skating, size and strength, his NHL future might be on the wing. With his ability to set up the play in the face-off circle/half-boards.it could benefit his offensive game as well. Del Bel Belluz is a late birthday, meaning he only has to spend one more season in the OHL before being AHL eligible in 2023-24. His game is reminiscent of David Perron but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Luca Del Bel Belluz that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back later for our next article on the 2022 NHL Draft.

 

Luca Del Bel Belluz Scouting Report Main Photo: