The New York Islanders have called up former first-round pick in 2016 Kieffer Bellows to the NHL from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as they look for more offense.
The top end of the roster have been doing well enough. It’s the bottom half, specifically the third line that has been a black hole since the puck dropped on the 2019-20 season.
On Monday, the Islanders brought up prospect Kieffer Bellows from the AHL to see what he can do after a particularly prolific season with the Sound Tigers.
Finding His Feet
His season didn’t start off well. In his first 19 games of the 2019-20 season, Bellows had only a goal and two assists to his name. Couple that with a disappointing 2018-19 season where he scored only 19 points, and some fans were bouncing the ‘B’ word around.
But after Sound Tigers coach Brent Thompson scratched Bellows in back-to-back games, the former 19th overall pick in 2016 bounced back in a big way.
Over his next 26 games, Bellows would score 15 goals and add six helpers for 21 points. Again, he had 19 points in a full 2018-19 season. Clearly, Thompson’s tactic worked on Bellows.
And now, the Islanders have rewarded his good play with his first call-up to the NHL.
Potential Lineup with Bellows
The lineup can go one of two ways with Bellows. The left-shot could line up next to Derick Brassard and Michael Dal Colle to give the third line someone who can put the puck in the back of the net. Or at the very least, a pulse.
Trotz could also move Brassard up with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier to reunite a productive line while putting his “Swiss-Army-Knife” Josh Bailey as the third line center with Dal Colle and Bellows as his wingers.
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Big things were expected of Bellows not only because of his draft status but because of a big season in the WHL two years out from his draft where he scored 41 goals and 74 points.
Now, with his first taste of the NHL on its way, he gets to show off his talents on the big stage, and prove that he belongs and that using the ‘B’ word was premature.