Well it certainly wasn’t what we all expected to happen with the 19th overall pick, but then again when does Garth Snow ever do the expected?
For the past week Isles fans collectively held their breath, waiting for that one Arthur Staple tweet announcing Garth had moved a seemingly irrelevant 1st round pick in order to fill one of the several holes within the top-6. But that tweet never came, and as fans crossed their fingers and prayed to see Bettman hit the podium to announce a deal bringing a name that rhymes with Baylor Small to Brooklyn, Garth and his contingency selected a good ol’ American boy by the name of Kieffer Bellows.
First off, Kieffer Bellows is an A+ name. Hockey is a game of aesthetics, everyone knows that – Good hair, good celebrations, good name, possess any of the three and you have a future in the sport [Yakupov was the exception] so when your team selects a kid with a name like Kieffer Bellows everything else is pretty irrelevant.
Everything I’ve read about him screams he’s a goalscorer’s goalscorer, with Uncle Bob going as far as saying he’s the 2nd best goalscorer in the draft behind Patrick Laine. Like only the most prestigious American prospects, Bellows hails from the US Developmental program where he’s 1 of 4 players to ever put up 50 goals in a season there [the other three are Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, and Auston Matthews.. nbd]. Best described as a power forward with an A1 shot, Bellows seems to be the perfect mix of Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo [Ironic, I know]. Tack on the fact he’s the only 50 goal/100 PIM player in the draft and it’s clear he plays smaht and plays hahd – the perfect fit for this organization.
Ignoring the fact that packaging the pick for an immediate fix seemed like the obvious move, Bellows is a selection Isles fans should be happy about. Joining the likes of Dal Colle, Ho-Sang, and Barzal as promising offensive prospects in the pipeline, the Isles continue to stockpile future talent while simultaneously making it easier to move any of said talent in order to build on their current successes. Again, it sucks to not see Garth find a suitable partner and make a move for the now, but if the pick was going to be used Bellows was the guy to use it on.
With free agency less than a week away and there being multiple holes within this team’s group of forwards I would expect to be hearing Garth’s name come up frequently in both trade rumors and talks of who will be signing where come July 1st. God damn it feels good to be talking hockey again.