New York Islanders: 10 Step Plan To Fix The Franchise
Step 8: Let Kieffer Bellows be the 3rd Line LW
This past summer Kieffer Bellows set a pretty lofty goal for himself. He wanted to play with the New York Islanders in 2018-2019. At the time it just seemed like talk or a kid with super high expectations for himself.
With his play this year he proved he wasn’t just flappin’ his gums last summer He backed it up and then some.
Bellows took a gigantic step in his development at age 19. In his first WHL action, he has 69 points (39 goals, 30 assists) in just 51 games. The guy is going full-on beast mode in the Western Hockey League at the moment.
That wasn’t the only stage he’s dominated on this year. At World Juniors Bellows had 10 points (9 goals, 1 assist) in seven games! The guy has leapfrogged every Islanders prospect and is the next prospect everyone is looking forward to seeing.
Last year in Mat Barzal’s first ever WHL action he put up 79 points in 41 games (a 1.93 points per game pace). That transitioned to a 1.01 points per game pace at the NHL level. That’s producing at a 52 percent dropoff going from WHL to NHL.
If Bellows keeps up his pace for the rest of the season he’s expected to finish the year with 76 points. That would be 1.35 points per game if he follows the same mold as well and has a 52 percent drop-off that’d put him at .70 points per game in the NHL next year. That’d put him on pace for 57 points in 82 games as a rookie.
Again these are all just projections, not everyone adjusts to the league that quickly but honestly 57 points seems like a reasonable number for Bellows going forward. I can see him as a big-time scorer who can give you seasons in the high 50’s to low 60’s in points.
I absolutely think it’s worth it to give Bellows an opportunity to play in the league next year. I’m not talking a Josh Ho-Sang stint in the NHL, I mean a full 82 game season. He’s proven he’s ready for the challenge by his play this year.