By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – As the Minotauros seventh season draws near it is time to start meeting the players heading to Minot for training camp. Camp opens September 3rd and the pre-season opens on September 9th against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Maysa Arena. We continue meeting the team with rookie forward Fritz Belisle.
Belisle, 19, joins the Tauros with two seasons of junior experience under his belt having played for the New Ulm Steel of the NA3HL. Last season he led the Steel with 50 points in 44 games on 26 goals and 24 assists. In total in 84 games in the NA3HL Balisle posted 39 goals and 35 assists for 74 points.
Prior to that, the Red Wing, Minnesota native played for Red Wing High posting 12 points combined over his Freshman and Sophomore seasons. He also played in the Tier 1 Elite League with the Colorado Thunderbirds U16 team posting seven points over 24 games.
The Tauros Assistant General Manager Chris Lonke found Belisle while scouting New Ulm. Lonke said it was Belisle’s “first 3 steps and compete level” that caught his eye.
Tauros Head Coach/General Manager Marty Murray got a good look at Balisle first when he came to Minot to skate with the team, then in live action during the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament. Murray praised Belisle’s complete game, “Fritz is a player that showed very well in both of our camps. His work ethic, skating and scoring ability were evident at all times. He has junior experience in the NA3HL under his belt, which I believe will help him with the transition to the NAHL. I believe he could be a player that provide a lot of versatility for us.”
Lonke agreed saying that when watching Belisle “Jake McCann comes to mind,” adding “I believe Fritz’s game can play in all roles. He can play in your top 6 with his skill set and bottom six with his grit and checking ability.”
For his part Belisle also said he likes to play a well-rounded game, “my style of play would be fast and more of a defensive minded forward, but I would also say when it comes to offense I’m more of a goal scorer than a play maker. I really try and model my game after Jonathan Toews.” With 39 goals the last two seasons Belisle has certainly backed that up.
While Belisle led the Steel in scoring he certainly was not afraid to mix it up physically either racking up 74 penalty minutes including two fights last season. If Belisle is going to advance however it is his play with the gloves on that will get him there. To that end he is excited to get to work in Minot, “I’m really looking forward to meeting and playing with a new group of guys this season. I’m also looking forward to playing in front of the Minot fans at the new arena.” He further explained, “I also practiced with the team in December and the atmosphere and chemistry with the guys was really fun.”
As for personal goals for Belisle it starts with the team, “it’s more of a team goal but I want to win the Robertson Cup. My personal goals for this season is to find my role on the team and do it as best I can. I also want to shoot for 20 points this season.”
Come back tomorrow when we will meet Brady Bjork. Do not miss your chance to see Belisle and all of the Tauros in action for the first time September 9th at 7:35 at the Maysa Arena when the Bismarck Bobcats come to Minot to open the pre-season.