Kieffer Bellows
(Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

New York Islanders’ top prospect, Kieffer Bellows, could be in the team’s lineup as soon as October. 

By now, the New York Islanders fanbase is aware that one of their top prospects in Kieffer Bellows is confident both on and off of the ice.

The former Islanders’ 19th overall selection at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is expected to be the next franchise player to lace up the skates next to the league’s 2018 Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year), Mathew Barzal.

However, there’s no set timetable for when Bellows will actually begin skating fulltime with the “that kid who won the Calder” and the rest of the Isles lineup. Still, the 20-year-old portrayed a sense of swagger and was assertive during a recent Islanders’ interview. New York’s fans should expect to see him in the lineup this October.

Bellows’ competitive demeanor and determination in the Islanders’ tweet weren’t only present in the youngster’s highlight video from the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo this past winter, but in his tone of voice as well.

More times than not it seems that a prospect would provide an answer that would hint a sense of “I’m just being happy to be here” type of line, but Bellows appears to be embracing the idea of skating right into the heat of things with an Islanders team that’s desperate for hope.

Should Bellows play with the Islanders and not the Bridgeport Sound Tigers next season?

For starters, considering that Bellows doesn’t have any professional hockey experience most would think that the future all-star should spend some time in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Islanders’ minor league team in the Bridgeport Soundtigers.

That’s the safe option to chose and there’s no arguing that it would be a bad move, either. However, in the state that the Islanders are in after losing captain John Tavares to unrestricted free agency, New York should let him gain as much as exposure as possible and let him learn at the NHL level from day one.

The Edina, Minnesota native would have a chance to blossom in the Islanders lineup and play a significant role due to the Islanders’ lack of talent heading into next season.

He’ll have veteran support with skaters such as Jordan Eberle, Andrew Ladd, Leo Komarov and Valterri Filppula, plus he’ll have the chance to build immediate chemistry with Barzal.

It’s a new era on Long Island and time to embrace every aspect of it moving forward.

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Kyle McKenna is a freelancer who covers the NHL for Elite Sports New York, Hooked On Hockey Magazine & Fansided. Follow him on Twitter @KMcKenna_tLT5 and use the hashtag #McKennasDigest to have your NHL questions featured in an article or answered over his weekly NHL podcast.