Flyers place former first-round pick on waivers

The Philadelphia Flyers have placed Kieffer Bellows on waivers today, according to Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets. This is his third stint of the season. Bellows cleared on Dec. 2 but has spent enough time on the NHL roster to need them again before being assigned to the minor leagues.

It just hasn’t worked out for the 24-year-old Bellows, who has 12 goals and 26 points in 83 career games. Those have been spread out across parts of four seasons, with just 16 appearances this year. The 19th overall pick from 2016 got just a handful of shifts in the last two games with Philadelphia and isn’t doing enough at either end of the rink to warrant consistent playing time.

The thing is, with a $1.2M contract, he also will likely go unclaimed for the second time this season. Roster spots are valuable, even with rebuilding clubs, and the fact that he’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year likely actually decreases his value. Bellows would need a $1.2M qualifying offer and is arbitration eligible, something no team will want to pay after this season.

It’s not that his time in the NHL is over. The Flyers could sign him for a more reasonable deal and keep trying to develop him into an asset. But right now, he’s just not getting it done. 

Through 15 games with Philadelphia, he has one goal on 23 shots and hasn’t seen a single second of penalty-killing time. That’s not the recipe for a regular fourth-liner, especially under John Tortorella’s effort-and-defense system.

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