Western Michigan forward Vince Bellissimo has decided to leave the Bronco hockey program a year early and enter the professional ranks.
A 2002 draftee of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, Bellissimo will begin his career with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.
“We appreciate Vince’s contribution to the program and wish him the best of luck,” WMU head coach Jim Culhane said.
Bellissimo recently concluded his junior season with the Broncos and was tabbed Honorable Mention All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association after concluding the campaign with 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists). The team’s second-leading scorer, he was tops on the roster with four game-winning goals. Bellissimo concluded his three-year career with 113 points (49 goals, 64 assists) and was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
Senior Pat Dwyer has also been signed to a professional contract and will begin his career with the Gwinnett Gladiators (Duluth, Ga.) of the ECHL. A team captain in 2004-05, Dwyer concluded his career with 101 points (45 goals, 56 assists). He was tabbed the CCHA Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was also named to the league’s all-rookie team. Dwyer was selected in the fourth round of the 2002 NHL draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.
“Pat has played an important role in the program during his tenure,” Culhane said. “We also wish him the best of luck as he continues his career.”
Dwyer will join former Bronco standout Jeff Campbell on the Gladiator roster.