In a year where so many were so sure Garth Snow would trade his pick and try to add to a roster losing Kyle Okposo and possibly Frans Nielsen, the Islanders GM didn’t move up or down. He stayed put at #19 and selected forward Keiffer Bellows in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The 18 year-old Bellows was a member of the US National Development Program U-18 Team last year and was one of only two players in the draft to score 50 goals last season after registering 50 goals and 31 assists in 62 games.
Only three players have scored more with the U.S. Development Program than the 50 goals Bellows netted this season — reigning NHL MVP Patrick Kane, reigning Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel and Auston Matthews, the 18-year-old the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted first overall.
Kiefer’s father, Brian Bellows was drafted No. 2 overall by the Minnesota North Stars in 1982 and played a decade with the team before seven additional seasons in the NHL.
He was also eviscerated by Bryan Trottier and Keven Stevens during the Stanley Cup Final in 1991.
He has a quick release, high to the net, and I think most importantly, he knows where the quiet zones are,” Bellows’s Dad said to the Star Tribune earlier this week. “I don’t care how fast the game is or even when it gets clogged up, the really great scorers find that open space, find those little pockets of room, and Kieffer has that intangible.
“Kieffer’s scoring ability and release is one of the best.”