The Toronto Maple Leafs have added another former top prospect to the organization by signing Kieffer Bellows to a Professional Tryout with their American League affiliate Monday morning.
Bellows will be joining the Toronto Maple Leafs organization after the Toronto Marlies announced they had signed the former first round pick to a PTO to start the week off.
The Edina, Minnesota native became a free agent this past off-season after splitting the 2022-23 season between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders, as well as the Flyers AHL affiliate Leigh Valley Phantoms. Bellows recorded three points, all goals in his 28 games between the Flyers and the Islanders averaging 9:41 of ice-time (credit hockey-reference.com).
Bellows started the season off with the Islanders, however was placed off waivers after playing just one game and was claimed by the Flyers. He spent the rest of the season bouncing back and forth between the AHL and NHL as he cleared waivers in both December and February (credit capfriendly.com).
Toronto Maple Leafs Land a Former Top Prospect
Bellows was originally drafted in the first round and 19th overall by the New York Islanders in the 2016 draft, which is the same year that Auston Matthews was selected. He was drafted out of the United States Junior League playing for the countries under-18 national team leading the club in goals and finishing second in points behind Clayton Keller.
The son of former NHL great Brian Bellows would attend Boston University for a season with Keller, but depart after a year to join the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
Bellows twice represented his country at the World Junior Championships where he won a gold in 2017 and a bronze in 2018. During the 2018 championships he was named a top three player in the tournament thanks to him leading in goals scored (9) and finishing with ten points.
Like many high end prospects, Bellows has shown he can be a top player in the American Hockey League as he has collected 60 points in 137 games, with most of those games coming when he was 21 years old or younger.
He has been disciplined by the NHL in the past for violating the league’s performance enhancing substance rules and at the time in October 2020, Frank Seravalli announced that “All applicable discipline has been issued and satisfied”.
As this is a tryout contract in the American Hockey League this is very low risk and the organization is able to get a better look at a player that used to be a top prospect in the Islanders organization.