He may be long gone by the 14th overall pick, but -- if he's still available -- explosive winger Kieffer Bellows could be an intriguing option for the Bruins in this month's NHL Draft.
It's widely assumed Boston will focus on defense in the first round. But if the B's decide to go for instant offense and natural goal-scoring, Bellows would fit the bull.
The 6-foot, 197-pound son of NHL All-Star Brian Bellows is considered perhaps the premier sniper in the entire draft class, and scored a whopping 50 goals in 62 games for the U.S. National Development Team Program last season. He met with 24 teams at last week’s NHL scouting combine, including the Bruins, so clearly the interest is mutual on some level between player and team.
“He’s the one that got me started in hockey, and he’s the guy that supports me right up until the day now,” said Bellows of his dad, who scored 485 goals and 1,022 points in 1,188 career games for the North Stars, Canadiens, Lightning, Ducks and Capitals in a 17-year career. “His advice is always just to work hard and give everything that you have, and if you do that than good things are going to happen for you. There’s always things you can improve and get better at every day, and that’s one of the keys to getting to the NHL someday.”
“I try to model my game after Jamie Benn. I really like the way he shoots the puck, and I like the way he uses his body. He’s physical and he’s not afraid to get to the dirty areas. I really like that about him.”
The Edina, Minnesota native can play either center or left wing, but projects to be a goal-scoring power forward-type. A Boston University recruit who'll play for the Terriers starting next season, he effectly uses his strength and aggression, using his size and strength to bull his way to the net where his hands and quick release can be deadly.
The shot-and-release is already good enough for higher levels of hockey, but the 17-year-old obviously needs to keep working on his complete game until everything else (size, strength, skating speed) fills in. Bellows is the kind of player who could really explode for the Terriers as a freshman next season, particularly if his good buddy Clayton Keller also finally decides to play in Scarlet and White next season as well.
“I think the coaching staff did a really good job [of recruiting],” said Bellows his decision to play at BU. “Former coach Steve Greeley, Albie O’Connell and coach [David] Quinn brought me in, and made me feel like I was already a Terrier. It’s exciting to see what some of their players are doing right now. You hear Nick Bonnino’s name right now a lot during the playoffs. He may not be the flashiest player, but he gets the job done.
“I went to the draft last year just to watch and see some of my friends get drafted, and I got to meet [Jack Eichel]. I had lunch with him and my coaches, and he came to visit us at the [USNDTP] this season. He’s just a very nice and humble guy, and he just gave us some advice on the Under-18 championships and the draft.”
For all of those reasons, Bellows might be a hard player for Don Sweeney and the Bruins to pass up if he’s still there at No. 14 . . . no matter how badly they need defensemen.