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Bellows, Tkachuk have strong starts for new teams

by Staff

Top American-born forwards Kieffer Bellows and Matthew Tkachuk, each projected to be a first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had impressive starts to the season for their respective teams.

Bellows, a left wing in his first season with USA Hockey's Under-18 National Team Development Program, scored a hat trick and had an assist in a 6-4 victory against the Youngstown Phantoms on Saturday. He was named USHL Forward of the Week for his effort.

Bellows, the son of former NHL player Brian Bellows, was named the USHL rookie of the year in 2014-15 after connecting for 33 goals and 52 points in 60 regular-season games with the Sioux Falls Stampede. He is committed to Boston University in Hockey East in 2016-17.

Tkachuk, also a left wing, has two goals and six points in two games as a rookie in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights. He had a goal and two assists in each game; a 5-3 victory against Hamilton on Friday and 6-5 loss against Kingston on Saturday.

Tkachuk had 38 goals and 96 points in 65 games for USA Hockey's U-18 NTDP in 2014-15.

Each player participated in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Top Prospects Game on Sept. 24 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

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