In a surprising turn for New York Islanders’ first-round pick Kieffer Bellows, Scott McLaughlin of WEEI reports that he will leave Boston University after just one season. The expectation is that he will head to the WHL where the Portland Winterhawks own his rights. It’s been a rough spring already for BU, watching Clayton Keller and Charlie McAvoy both turn pro early in their college careers.
The son of former 50-goal man Brian Bellows who scored 1022 points in 1188 NHL games, Bellows was selected 19th-overall last summer by the Islanders and is expected to develop into a strong power forward able to fit into many different roles at the next level. His time at BU was somewhat underwhelming, scoring just 14 points in 34 games but he was expected to take over some of the offensive load left by Keller when he signed with the Arizona Coyotes. With Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson also turning pro, there was an opportunity to find success in one of the best college hockey programs in the country.
Instead, he’ll likely head to a Winterhawks team that was carried all year by top 2017 draft prospect Cody Glass. Should they play together, Bellows could hardly ask for a better centerman to develop his offensive game with. The Winterhawks picked Bellows 142nd overall in the 2013 bantam draft, likely not expecting him to ever join the CHL ranks. Interestingly, Portland also owns the rights to Jake Oettinger, Bellows’ teammate at BU and expected top goalie prospect in this year’s draft.