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Editorials

New York Islanders Three Internal Options for Top Six Winger

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 03: Tom Kuhnhackl #14 of the New York Islanders lays on the ice after being hit by a teammates stick against the Carolina Hurricanes in the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes won 5-2 and won the series, 4-0. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 03: Tom Kuhnhackl #14 of the New York Islanders lays on the ice after being hit by a teammates stick against the Carolina Hurricanes in the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes won 5-2 and won the series, 4-0. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 21: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 21, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 21: Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 21, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Islanders 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Kieffer Bellows

Just like Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows didn’t have a particularly good 2018-19 season. In his first year as a pro, Bellows put up 19 points with the Sound Tigers. With 12 goals and seven assists, Bellows underwhelmed after a promising junior year in 2017-18.

(He also compiled an absurdly high 101 penalty minutes last season.)

After scoring 41 goals in 56 games for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL in 2017-18, good things were expected from Bellows as he turned pro. Ther former 19th overall pick from 2016 had a good release and great offensive IQ. But things just didn’t click last season in Bridgeport.

So far, that’s not the case. In his first three games, Bellows has three points to his name (0 goals and three assists).

It’s early still, but things seem to be going well for Bellows. That’s not the case for the Islanders.

Ideally, the Islanders don’t want to be forced to call him (or anyone) up just yet. Ideally, they’d like to wait and see if this run of form lasts. If by mid-November this point per game pace holds up then, if the need is there, the Islanders could make the call-up.

Just like they did with Michael Dal Colle last season. After a point-per-game pace with the Sound Tigers, the Islanders called up Dal Colle in early November. He eventually made his start on November 18th against the Dallas Stars.

It’s clear that they have to try something different. Running out Michael Dal Colle or Tom Kuhnhackl in the top-six just isn’t working. Both are bottom six options.

Maybe the solution isn’t in Bridgeport, but already on the roster and holding down a spot in the bottom six.

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