Kieffer Bellows has agreed to play for the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team in 2015-16, per NHL.com.
Bellows, 16, is regarded as one of the top prospects for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He had 52 points and 78 penalty minutes with Sioux Falls Stampede en route to being named the USHL Rookie of the Year. Some of the other recent ROY winners include Johnny Gaudreau (2011), Max Pacioretty (2007), Kyle Okposo (2006), and Joe Pavelski (2003).
He’s also the son of Brian Bellows, who had a 1,188-game career with the Minnesota North Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Ducks, and Washington Capitals.
“We are excited to have Kieffer join us next year,” USNTDP U-18 coach Danton Cole said. “He had a tremendous season in Sioux Falls, winning a USHL championship while also being recognized for several awards. Coach [Cary] Eades and his staff did an excellent job with Kieffer and it will serve him well as he embarks on our USHL, NCAA and international schedule.”
Kieffer Bellows, son of longtime NHLer Brian, captured the USHL Rookie of the Year award on Friday after scoring 33 goals and 52 points in 58 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede.
Bellows, who’s committed to Boston University, set a record this season for most goals by a 16-year-old in the USHL Tier 1 era, and helped the Stampede capture the Clark Cup. By capturing the league’s ROY trophy, Bellows also joins a pretty distinguished list of winners that have since gone on to successful NHL careers: Johnny Gaudreau, Anders Lee, Max Pacioretty, Kyle Okposo and Joe Pavelski, to name a few.
Bellows is viewed as a potential first-round pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, which is shaping up to be a class loaded with talent. Auston Matthews, the Arizona native that’s toying with the idea of playing in Switzerland next year, is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick while the likes of US NTDP’s Matthew Tkachuk (son of Keith), Sarnia Sting defenseman Jakob Chychrun (son of Jeff) and Finland’s Jesse Puljujarvi are also pegged as players to go within the top five.
Brian Bellows was the No. 2 overall pick at the 1982 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play in three All-Star Games, capturing the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993.
Washington forward Eric Fehr (upper body), who missed the latter half of the Islanders series following a big hit from Kyle Okposo, has resumed skating and will travel with the Caps in advance of tomorrow’s Round 2 opener against the Rangers, per the Washington Post.
Trotz said this injury was unrelated to the other shoulder issues Fehr had experienced in the past, including one nagging problem that sidelined him for the final three games of the regular season.
Asked whether Fehr’s recovery had progressed on schedule, Trotz replied, “Yeah, I think so.”
Since Fehr did not practice before the team traveled to New York, he will almost certainly be unavailable for Game 1. Asked whether Fehr was a possibility for Game 2, Trotz replied, “Don’t know. Not going to answer that one.”
Fehr missed the final four games of the opening series and his absence was noticeable; the 29-year-old averaged over 15 minutes per night through the first three contests and, prior to, was a steady contributor for the Caps this year, scoring 19 goals and 33 points in 75 games while emerging as a solid third-line checking center.