Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#16.Kieffer Bellows – LW, USA U-18 (USHL)
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Committed to Boston University in the fall, Bellows was an exceptional performer this past season with the United States National Team Development Program, using his bulky frame, strength on the puck and nose for the net to secure a team-best 16 lamplighters in 23 USHL contests.
In short, Bellows has the look of a hard-nosed competitor who can score from range or beat top defensemen 1-on-1.
Bellows, whose father Brian used a world-class release to score 485 NHL goals in less than 1,200 career games, took great strides in his draft year, showing a more engaged backcheck and hard-hitting game while riding shotgun with fellow highly touted draft prospect and Terriers commit, Clayton Keller.
In April, Bellows put a bow on his body of work by capturing five goals and eight points in seven games at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
He’ll want to become more explosive with his acceleration and definitely more consistent with his offensive production during his time in Hockey East, but the foundation and bloodlines make him a compelling power forward with plenty of professional upside that can be had at the middle stages of the opening round.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).