The NY Islanders finally announced on Monday the work GM Lou Lamoriello conducted over the summer extending his restricted free agents. Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov inked three-year deals, while Kieffer Bellows got less security re-signing for one year.
Bellows' $1.2 million deal is a little more bloated than some anticipated, however, he's played the part-timer role and maybe it's time to give him a full-time shot. The former first-round selection's one-year deal is very much a prove-it deal, and if he doesn't his time on Long Island is likely up.
Bellows spoke after the announcement of his deal and believes that he is an everyday contributor to this group and is looking forward to the challenge:
"I view myself as being a regular in a lineup. I want to be making a big impact from day one. "- Kieffer Bellows
With Lambert at the helm full time, Bellows should have a chance to thrive this season. The knock on Bellows' game comes in his own end as he's proven he knows how to put the puck in the back of the net:
"I plan to be good defensively, but also be a great offensive player, use my shot and, you know, score some goals for this team. I expect myself to have a good year and you know, last year, when I was in the lineup on a regular basis, you saw the offensive player and you saw my good defensive reliability. I'm expecting to bring that again this year."- Kieffer Bellows
Bellows has never been a regular in the Islanders lineup, but due to COVID complications last season he saw the most amount of ice time at the NHL level skating in 45 games. He ended the season well tallying six points (two goals, four assists) in nine games to end the season. He was later invited to Team USA's camp for the 2022 IIHF World Championships, claiming a spot on the team and scoring three goals and five points in 10 games of the tournament.
Ending last season on a high note, Bellows is looking to build on that momentum:
"The end of last season I felt like I hit a good stride. When I was playing those consistent games, I really felt more comfortable every single night and was building chemistry with guys."- Kieffer Bellows
Training camp now becomes a focal point in Bellows' career vying for a roster spot. He's seemingly competing with Zach Parise and Matt Martin on the left side as it's unlikely he'll dethrone Anthony Beauvllier or Anders Lee. In preparation this summer, Bellows has been hard at work:
"It's been a lot of work this summer and I'm really focused on having a big year coming up. I'm excited to start the season."- Kieffer Bellows
Bellows appears to be oozing confidence, setting big goals for himself for the upcoming season, certainly with some personnel obstacles to climb. He's been a big time player at lower levels, and wants to bring that to the NHL for the Islanders next season:
"I want to make a big impact. I want to be out there in those big-time situations, the power plays the six-on-fives. I want to help this team score goals and win games, that's most important to me is winning games and getting this team back to the playoffs."- Kieffer Bellows
Training camp opens on September 21st and the 24-year-old power forward will certainly be someone to keep an eye on.