Blue Jackets Sign Pair Of Skilled Prospects

The Columbus Blue Jackets were busy today as they signed two of their prospects to entry-level deals. Both Luca Del Bel Belluz and James Malatesta signed for $950,000 AAV. Del Bel Belluz was the team's second round pick (44th) in the 2022 draft while Malatesta went in the fifth round (133rd) of the 2021 draft.

Del Bel Belluz has had a good start to the season for the Mississauga Steelheads as he has recorded 13 goals and 26 points in 21 games. He started the season on a five-game point streak and has eight multipoint games already. He took a massive step forward from his first season in the OHL to last season and looks to continue producing at a strong pace this season and head into his pro career on a high note. He is on pace to score more goals and record much more points than last season. The Blue Jackets like what they see from their second round pick.

As for Malatesta, he is having a very good breakout season for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL as he already has 19 goals and 30 points in just 23 games. Last season he finished with 28 goals and 53 points in 68 games. He has never been a point-per-game player in the QMJHL and there was a reason he was taken in the fifth round in the 2021 draft. Malatesta is proving to be a great late pick in the draft with the way he has taken off.

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