Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive travels tough road to recovery after campfire explosion
Countless hockey players, even ones young enough to be participating in Pittsburgh Penguins development camp in Cranberry this week, have stories to tell about rehabbing from a tough injury.
Few have as harrowing a tale to tell as Penguins prospect Jordy Bellerive.
After suffering a serious hand injury in a campfire explosion last summer, Bellerive’s road to recovery has been an extraordinarily long and difficult one.
“There were a lot of painful nights and stuff like that that I dealt with, a lot of tightness in the skin, which kind of messed around with (shooting) accuracy and whatnot,” Bellerive said. “I definitely had to tweak my shot a little bit, shoot it a different way. After a lot of therapy so far this summer, I’m pretty confident it’s back to where it was before the incident, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Throughout the course of a long season, Bellerive said he tried different techniques to manage the pain and swelling, not wanting to rely too much on a constant stream of medication.
He managed to score 33 goals in 68 games – impressive numbers given what he went through, but not exactly up to the high standards he set for himself. Bellerive scored 46 goals the year before.
“Anytime someone tells you you’re not going to play hockey for a year, that’s in the back of your head for a long time,” Bellerive said. “I thought I did all right.”
The Penguins thought Bellerive did better than all right. Player development coach Tom Kostopoulos said the organization thinks the world of him.
“Jordy’s a great kid,” Kostopoulos said. “He had an unfortunate summer last year and it kind of went with him the whole season. He had a good season to most people’s standards, but to him, it was a bit of a down season. He was looking forward to getting home, regrouping, having more of a normal summer and coming to development camp with a fresh mind. He’s worked and he’s put in the effort. It’s nice to see him out here.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .