On Monday morning the New York Islanders cut the training camp roster down to 28 players from 48. And Kieffer Bellows was part of the cuts.
The Isles first round pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Kieffer Bellows impressed as he made the switch from the NCAA to the WHL last season. In 56 games for the Portland Winterhawks Bellows scored 41 goals and 74 points.
His next step was the NHL. And through the first few games of training camp he seemed to be impressing fans and coaching staff. He scored two goals and was a good offensive weapon for the Islanders. But it seems that wasn’t enough as he’s sent to the AHL.
Need to See Vets
It wasn’t a guarantee that Bellows would make the team as he entered training camp. With all the existing NHL contracts on the team it was always going to be a tall task for Bellows to make the team. And it’s not like the AHL is a terrible place to go.
Bellows will finally be able to play against men in the AHL. There he’ll be able to hone his craft before making the NHL.
And who says he doesn’t get a call up soon? Injuries happen.
Speaking to media after the cuts, Lou Lamoriello indicated that he needed to see what the veterans with NHL contracts had first. NHL contracts he himself gave out before training camp started.
It’s the type of ideology that Islanders fans cringe to hear when we have promising young players that aren’t given a fair shot. Quotes like Lou’s bring us back to Brian Strait playing 17 to 18 minutes a night for the Islanders.
Again, the AHL isn’t a terrible consolation prize for Bellows. But it’s frustrating when you see that the Islanders are still considering vets like Dennis Seidenberg and Luca Sbisa, but are absolutely decided on Kieffer Bellows going to the AHL.
Want your voice heard? Join the Eyes On Isles team!
With Andrew Ladd still out with muscle tightness, it would make sense to see what Bellows had until Ladd returned. Whenever that might be. Going to the AHL isn’t a setback for Kieffer Bellows, it’s just frustrating that the Islanders didn’t take longer to evaluate him.