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New York Islanders Daily: Kieffer Bellows’ Pro Plan

By Matt O'Leary
New York Islanders Kieffer Bellows (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
New York Islanders Kieffer Bellows (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images) /
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New York Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows joined the WHL this year with hopes of not sticking around too long before making the NHL.

Kieffer Bellows was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. When drafted, many believed it would be a few years before Bellows saw action in the NHL…Just don’t tell him that.

Bellows told Brian Compton, who does a fantastic job for NHL.com, that he doesn’t have much interest in playing with Portland for long.

"Bellows said his plan is to play one season for Portland before joining the Islanders for the 2018-19 season. He’ll try to improve all areas of his game, with a focus on his skating."

If Bellows wants a real shot at making the team next year he’s absolutely going about this the right way. The WHL plays a ton more games than the NCAA. Bellows played 34 games for Boston University last year, this year if he remains healthy he can have the opportunity to play up to 72 games in the regular season.

That would give him a better feel for the NHL season, as it’s just a 10 game difference as opposed to nearly a 50 game difference from the NCAA to the NHL.

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The longer season also gives Bellows more opportunities to master his craft, particularly skating. He’s a physical player who displayed the ability to take over a game in the World Juniors tournament, but if he works on his skating it’ll be that much easier for him to make the transition to the NHL.

It’s not a guarantee that he makes the team next year, but the Isles do have four UFA forwards and three RFA forwards next offseason. So, that may help his cause a bit to make the roster. A good camp is always key and if Bellows takes the next step in his development in the WHL he’ll be putting himself in great shape.

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