Kieffer Bellows headlines Islanders draft class meant to reload franchise - Metro US

Kieffer Bellows headlines Islanders draft class meant to reload franchise


At the very least, Kieffer Bellows and Bryan Trottier will have one subject to discuss should the Islanders’ first round draft selection ever cross paths with the franchise legend.

During his media availability in an anteroom at the First Niagara Center after being selected by the Islanders with the 19th overall pick in the NHL Draft Friday night, Bellows shared the fact he has seen the YouTube video of Trottier and Kevin Stevens spewing invective at his father, Brian, from the bench during the 1991 Stanley Cup Final.

Yes. That one.

“I’ve seen a few YouTube clips,” Bellows said. “There’s the most common one with the (then)-Minnesota (North Stars) and the Pittsburgh Penguins.”

And how does he feel about the one minute and three second video which is populated by words which cannot be reprinted in a family newspaper?

“That’s the funny one,” Bellows said.

Well then.

The selection of Bellows highlighted a weekend in which the Islanders, in theory, restocked the organizational cupboard with five forwards and a defenseman drafted. The Islanders used the 95th overall pick on Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg’s Anatoli Golyshev. Otto Koivula (120th), Collin Adams (170th), Nick Pastujov (193rd) and David Quenneville (200th) rounded out the remaining picks.

“We try to take the best player available,” Islanders amateur scout Vellu Kautonen told the team’s official website after the draft.

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And with Bellows?

“We certainly didn’t think we’d get this guy at 19,” Kautonen said.”We’re extremely happy about that.”

Bellows, 19, just finished his second season in the United States Hockey League. He spent last season with the U.S. National Under-18 Team after playing 2014-15 for the Sioux Falls Stampede. In 81 games over the two years, the left-handed shooting left wing compiled a 49-35-84 slash line with 119 penalty minutes.

“The development team really prepared me,” said Bellows, who compared his game to that of Dallas Stars power forward Jamie Benn. Last season, he finished with 32 points–16 goals and 16 assists–in 23 games. “They helped me gain a lot of weight, get bigger, stronger, faster and they’ve just helped so much.

“The USHL has done a really good job. The league’s growing even bigger than it (was) when I was playing; they’re doing such a good job with it. I’m proud I was a part of it with Sioux Falls and (Team) USA. They’re doing a great job. I’m very happy with it.”

Islanders fans will get their first up close and personal look at Bellows this week at prospect camp, but all indications are it will likely be a brief glimpse as he is headed to Boston University in the fall.

“It’s going to be one to two years at Boston University to most definitely be ready,” Bellows said. “I feel that’s when I can play in the NHL, right after that.”

You can follow NHL writer Denis P. Gorman on Twitter at @DenisGorman.

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