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.
Capitals forward Curtis Glencross, who has been a healthy scratch in three straight games, is expected to play in Game 7 on Monday.
Glencross was a minus-3 with two penalty minutes through the first three games of the series.
The 32-year-old, who was acquired from the Calgary Flames prior to the trade deadline, had four goals and seven points in 18 regular season games following the deal.
Eric Fehr practiced on Sunday for the first time since being sidelined in Game 3 with an upper body injury.
Fehr left Washington’s 2-1 overtime loss last Sunday following a hit from Kyle Okposo in the first period.
Fehr had a minus-1 rating and two penalty minutes in the first three games of the series.
According to Capitals coach Barrty Trotz, Fehr would be available for the second round, if Washington gets past New York in Game 7 on Monday.
Puck drop for Game 7 is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Photo courtesy of NHL
The Islanders went into this game upset at Washington’s Tom Wilson for his big hit on Lubomir Visnovsky that has left the New York blueliner on sidelined with what might be a concussion.
Kyle Okposo called Wilson “an idiot” while John Tavares described Wilson’s actions as targeting a defenseless player.
It didn’t take long for that anger to manifest itself in the form of a fight between Wilson and Islanders forward Anders Lee in Game 5 on Thursday. You can watch that exchange below:
That sparring match seemed to inspire the Islanders as Josh Bailey found the back of the net just 26 seconds later:
Unfortunately for the Islanders, Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov responded with a goal of his own and the two sides consequently went into the intermission tied.
Things have reached a fever pitch in the Isles-Capitals series.
In the wake of Tom Wilson’s huge Game 4 hit on Lubomir Visnovsky — one that knocked New York’s veteran d-man out of action — the Isles expressed major frustration, with Kyle Okposo calling Wilson “an idiot.”
Now, they’re apparently upset with another Caps forward as well.
The Isles, already upset over losing Visnovsky, were further incensed when audio of Caps forward Brooks Laich’s radio appearance on a Washington station surfaced on social media.
The NHL’s Player Safety department was informed of Laich’s comments, though such things usually warrant only a talking-to, not a fine or suspension. Wilson did not hear from player safety regarding the hit, so he will be in the lineup for Game 5.
In the interview, Laich said “What [the hit] did was Visnovsky got put out of the game and that puts them down to five ‘D’ in the second period.” Laich then added, “it’s a quote-unquote good penalty to take.”
Game 5 of the series goes tonight at Verizon. Needless to say, it’s going to be heated.