Earlier in the season the Toronto Maple Leafs made a depth move by bringing former first round pick Kieffer Bellows into the organization by signing him to an AHL Tryout Contract with the Toronto Marlies.
As part of the Tryout Contract, the Toronto Maple Leafs could see up to 25 games played by Bellows before making a decision, which could be an additional tryout or a full contract.
This past Friday night saw Bellows dress in his 25th game for the Marlies so a decision was going to come this weekend. The only debate was whether the former World Junior standout would receive a NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs or an AHL deal with the Marlies.
Throughout his time with the Marlies, Bellows was a standout and currently sits second on the team in points with 26 in 25 games, while leading the club in goals with 14.
Toronto Marlies Sign Kieffer Bellows to AHL Deal
Sunday morning, the Toronto Marlies tweeted out that they had come to an agreement on an AHL deal for the remainder of the season with Bellows.
Bellows, who is now 25-years old was a former first round pick by the New York Islanders in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 18 picks behind Auston Matthews.
The former top prospect has been a player that has shown he can be a high end AHL scorer, but has not been able to translate his game to the NHL. In 162 AHL games, Bellows has collected 51 goals, however has just 14 goals in 92 NHL games. (stats nhl.com).
Bellows most recently played in the NHL during the 2022-23 season where he played in 27 games with the Philadelphia Flyers collecting three goals after being claimed off of waivers from the Islanders. His longest stretch was in 2021-22 where he dressed in 45 games for the Islanders collecting 19 points.
Prior to joining the NHL, Bellows participated twice in the World Juniors for the United States where he won both gold and bronze medals in consecutive years, while being named a Top 3 player in the 2019 tournament when he led in goals (9).
He is the son of former NHLer Brian Bellows who played almost 1,200 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993 collecting 15 points in 19 games during that run.
Due to the contract being on an AHL deal, Bellows is not eligible to be recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs.