Kieffer Bellows was back on the ice after being scratched for the last two games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. And the New York Islanders first-round pick from 2016 put in a big performance.
With a goal and three points in 19 games before getting scratched, Bellows was on pace to score 12 points. Seven fewer than his disappointing 2018-19 AHL season. Before getting scratched, Bellows went 14 games without a point.
On Wednesday, Bellows was back in the lineup for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as they faced the Springfield Thunderbirds. And Bellows responded.
Within 13 minutes in the first period, Bellows picked up his third assist on the season on a Mason Jobst goal. It was a secondary assist, but I don’t think anyone cares. It’s a point and if that’s what it takes to get him going then so be it.
Later, in the second period, Bellows would score his second goal on the season. And just like that, Bellows almost doubles his production on the season in a period and a half since he returned from the scratchpad.
His performance on the night earned him the second star of the game.
It’s only one game, but missing out had the desired effect on the young man who’s starting to see others vault over him on the Islanders depth chart.
Oliver Wahlstrom and Otto Koivula already got a look at the NHL. Simon Holmstrom drafted in the first round just this summer has been making strides in his first professional season with five points in 20 games. Arnaud Durandeau, selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft has six points in twelve games and is seeing his stock is rise quickly.
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Now, that he’s back on the team Kieffer Bellows has to find a way to reproduce that type of performance more consistently. The opportunity to make the jump to the NHL will be there, so long as the performances warrant a call-up.
For now, it looks like the ‘reboot’ worked.