New York Islanders prospect, Kieffer Bellows was in the news for a failed drug test. Let’s take a look at his future compared to the rest of his class.
This past week, Islanders prospect, Kieffer Bellows’ name came up for all the wrong reasons. Bellows supposedly violated the league’s performance-enhancing substances program and served his discipline as a result.
While this was obviously a big surprise, it won’t be an issue for the Islanders heading into the 2020-2021 campaign as Bellows already served whatever punishment that was handed to him. Kudos to Lou Lamoriello for keeping that one under wraps by the way.
Anyway, what I wanted to do today was look at if Bellows can be a part of this roster in 2020 and compare him to the rest of the 2016 draft class.
In 2016, Bellows was drafted 19th overall. Since then, he has just eight games in the NHL all of which came this past season with two goals to his name. Comparatively, he’s behind where a majority of the first-rounders are from that year.
Of players taken in the top-20, Bellows has played more games than just three players. Olli Juolevim and Logan Stanley haven’t cracked the league yet while Jake Bean has just two games under his belt.
Those three players, all defensemen. Out of all the forwards drafted in round one, only German Rubtsov (22nd overall) and Riley Tufte (25th overall) have played fewer games than Bellows in the NHL.
Now, some of it is circumstantial. If Bellows is on one of these other rosters perhaps he has more games under his belt but still, now four years later, this is a bit of indictment on the prospect and the development from the team.
At 22 years old, does Bellows finally get his shot this year? The Islanders could use some help finding the back of the net and one thing is for sure, Bellows has had a knack for finding the twine on occasion.
Last year, he found the back of the net 22 times in the AHL in just 52 games. After a rough start to his pro career in 2018-2019 with just 12 goals and 19 points in 73 games, he ended up bouncing back nicely.
I’d assume that both Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom will have a chance at the roster whenever the NHL season starts back up again in a few months. What kind of role he’d play in likely remains to be seen.
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I doubt he gets a chance in the top-six right away, but with the lack of cap space, the Isles may need to bank on one of Bellows or Wahlstrom figuring it out quickly.