Kieffer Bellows had an impressive first year in the WHL and should not only make the 2018-2019 New York Islanders roster but he should have a decent size role.
The New York Islanders have had some luck in recent memory from getting production out of rookies. This past year it was Mathew Barzal who exceeded any and all expectations in 2017-2018, then you also have guys like Ryan Pulock, Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee and Ryan Strome having impactful rookie campaigns in recent memory.
Hopefully, in 2018-2019 we’ll have the same effect from Kieffer Bellows. This past year, in the WHL, Kieffer had a coming out party.
In 56 games with the Portland Winterhawks, he had 74 points (41 goals, 33 assists). He had an unbelievable season that showed he’s an elite goal scorer. The WHL wasn’t the only stage that Bellows shined on.
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During the World Juniors Tournament Bellows dominated for team USA. In seven games he had nine goals. The guy is a scoring machine, and he should get his opportunity with the New York Islanders this year.
If you remember TSN had a prediction for the Islanders depth chart and they listed Kieffer Bellows as the sixth left-winger on the chart. That’s a little extreme but what can you really expect to see from Bellows next year?
The Islanders have Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Beauvillier and potentially Brock Nelson who all play left wing. Anders Lee’s definitely is going to be on the top-line. The rest is a question mark.
Andrew Ladd, unfortunately, will be on the roster next year and will likely be on either of the middle two lines. I would like to put him on the second line to try to revive him with the help of Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle. If you remember from bits last year he was most productive with that line.
That leaves Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. Brock shouldn’t be on the roster. He has to be moved in a trade of some sort. If Lou Lamoriello extends Brock Nelson I think fans start a revolution so you may as well package him for a defenseman.
As for Beau, I’d move him back to his natural position of center. I think Kieffer Bellows fits on a new version of the kid line of Bellows – Beauvillier – Ho-Sang. If that’s a line the Islanders will be in great shape with for depth scoring.
Bellows might not have the Mathew Barzal impact right away, but if he gets a regular role on the third line Bellows should be around 35 points. I’d guestimate something to the effect of 20 goals, 15 assists in his rookie year.
I would be utterly shocked if Bellows isn’t a regular in the 2018-2019 season. He has too much potential and Lou Lamoriello as a talent evaluator should be able to spot it, unlike the regime of old.
Get excited, if you’ve somehow been sleeping on Kieffer Bellows you’re about to be introduced to his potential.