New York Islanders Prospect Kieffer Bellows on Team USA Roster

By Kate Eliou
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Kieffer Bellows
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Kieffer Bellows /

Last week, the preliminary rosters for the annual World Juniors Championship were released and unsurprisingly, New York Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows was included.

The World Junior Championship is an annual tournament held to showcase the best talent the junior hockey world has to offer. It’s the stage where everyone became familiar with the names of New York Islanders stars John Tavares, Jordan Eberle and even Mathew Barzal as they each had their own iconic moments playing for the country they call home, Canada.

This year, nineteen-year-old Kieffer Bellows has once again been given the chance to represent his home country, the United States of America. Although the rosters released last Tuesday are only preliminary, the New York Islanders forward is almost guaranteed a spot on Team USA.

Bellows is a returning WJC champion, he helped lead his team to victory against Mathew Barzal and Team Canada just a year ago. While he will be the only player representing the Islanders in the tournament this year, Bellows will certainly be able to impress on the international stage alone.

Flying Under The Radar

Although only scoring 2 goals and notching 1 assist in last year’s tournament, there is little reason to except anything but a great performance from Bellows in 2018. In his first year on his WHL team, the Portland Winterhawks, the young forward has stood out as a scorer.

Bellows, a newer prospect in the New York Islanders system, has seemingly been able to fly under the fan base’s radar, even though he was drafted 19th overall in 2016. With the excitement surrounding players like Mat Barzal and Josh Ho-Sang, the nineteen-year-old has quietly able to have success in the world of junior hockey.

Ranked as the 25th overall scorer in the WHL and 3rd on the Winterhawks, Bellows has found his offensive stride with 40 points total, 19 goals and 21 assists, although having played fewer games than the two team leaders. With this performance so far in the season, he will almost definitely find a similar success in the World Junior Championship.

Next: Ryan Pulock Emerging

While the roster at the moment is only preliminary and the team has yet to make their final cuts, it seems far-fetched that Kieffer Bellows not be in the final group representing the United States in Buffalo this winter.