Stampede forward set Tier 1 era goal record for a 16-year-old
The United States Hockey League today announced that Sioux Falls Stampede forward Kieffer Bellows has been named the 2014-15 USHL Rookie of the Year as determined by a vote of League coaches and general managers.
Bellows appeared in all but two of the 60 regular season games for the Stampede, producing 52 points (33g, 19a) to finish second on the team in scoring and 19th overall in the USHL. His 33 goals ranked fifth in the League and are the most by a 16-year-old in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), surpassing the previous record by 2013-14 USHL Rookie of the Year Robby Jackson who netted 28 with the Chicago Steel.
The 33 goals by Bellows are also the most by a Stampede player since Matthew Ford netted 37 during the 2003-04 season. Bellows scored a goal in his USHL debut, a 5-3 victory against the Tri-City Storm on October 3rd. After scoring just four goals over his first 19 games in the League, he caught fire and went on to net 29 goals over the next 39 games. He recorded six multi-goal games, including three hat tricks. Two of those three-goal games came in a span of seven days – January 31st vs. Tri-City and February 7th vs. the Fargo Force.
Bellows helped the Stampede capture the Clark Cup, scoring 11 points (9g, 2a) over 12 games and posting a plus-nine rating. Four of his goals were game-winners which tied the USHL Tier 1 era record for most game-winners in a single playoff year.
The native of Edina, Minnesota was selected by the Stampede in the first round (13th overall) of Phase One in the 2014 USHL Draft. He is a product of Edina High School and helped them capture a Minnesota state championship in 2014. Bellows is already considered a top prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft and is committed to play college hockey at Boston University following his USHL career.
It is the third time that a member of the Sioux Falls Stampede has been named USHL Rookie of the Year. Jack Connolly earned the award following the 2007-08 season while Matthew Ford was named the League’s top rookie following the 2003-04 season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 350 players on team rosters this past season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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