In case you weren’t a Prospect Sicko back in 2016, Bellows was one youngster that a lot of Flyers fans were clamoring for in the first round. Instead, the team traded their pick back and selected German Rubtsov with that pick, so it’s not like they got anything out of that move.
Now six years later, Bellows hasn’t found consistency on Long Island and had to be placed on waivers to see the AHL once again. Philadelphia saw that as an opportunity to snatch up a 24-year-old winger that this management thought highly of at one point and both give the player a new opportunity and the team someone healthy enough to actually play in the lineup.
Even with Owen Tippett returning Thursday against the Florida Panthers, the Flyers are missing a whole lot of forward talent. There is no clear timeline for when Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson can return to full health, Patrick Brown and Bobby Brink have not appeared in any games this season, and James van Riemsdyk is out with a broken finger for over a month. That’s a whole lot of spots to fill, especially when there isn’t a ready-made solution in the AHL, either.
After claiming winger Lukas Sedlak off waivers last week, the Flyers do it again with Bellows and hope for at least a bigger role than Sedlak is currently providing.
Bellows has been heralded as a shoot-first winger that will score from mid-range with a great shot, but is someone whose skating could be a liability. Last season, he managed to score six goals and 19 points in 45 games for the terrible Islanders. Despite the team being pretty bad, Bellows got his fair shot with the talent available, playing significant minutes with Brock Nelson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and even Mat Barzal.
He can at least provide more offense than Sedlak (who is currently on the third line) and has plenty of time to grow into the sniper everyone thought he would eventually become. If not, there is zero risk and either another NHL team can give it a go or Lehigh Valley gets a powerplay threat.