2011-12: Louis Belpedio skated for the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. In 26 games he scored 4 goals with 10 assists and 36 penalty minutes. He was invited to USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program evaluation camp and was selected for the program for the 2012-13 season.
2012-13: Belpedio moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to skate for the USA NTDP U17 team and represented the USA in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge. In 56 games he scored 1 goal with 11 assists and had 33 penalty minutes. In six games at the WHC he had 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes. The USA defeated Canada Quebec, 4-3, in the bronze medal game.
2013-14: Belpedio returned to Ann Arbor to skate for the NTDP’s U18 team and in November committed to playing college hockey at Miami University in 2014-15. He served as the USA team captain at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Finland. In 61 games with the NTDP U18 team he scored 7 goals with 16 assists and 46 penalty minutes. He had 2 assists and was +3 in seven games at the WJC as the USA finished fifth; falling to Russia, 5-3, in a quarterfinal game. Belpedio was ranked 107th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by Minnesota in the third round (80th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Belpedio is an attack-oriented, skating defenseman. Somewhat smaller than typical NHL defensemen, he plays with situational awareness and moves the puck decisively. Belpedio will likely have to add bulk and strength to be successful at the higher levels of hockey. He has leadership skills and was a team captain for the USA U18 team in 2014.
Belpedio has stepped right into the lineup for Miami University as a freshman in 2014-15; frequently skating on the Redhawks' top defensive pairing with junior Matt Caito. Belpedio's skating and high tempo game fit in well with Miami's style of play and he should be dominant at the college level. His size will be a challenge in pro hockey. While his skill level suggests he can succeed at the NHL level in much the same manner as other undersized defensemen such as Torey Krug or Sami Vatanen, should he not reach that level his style would make him a popular target for clubs in Europe.