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  • Brian Bellows' legacy will live on through son Kieffer


    Saturday's Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium was a chance to re-live the extensive history of Minnesota Hockey, and fans in attendance were rewarded with seeing many big names from the past get on the scoreboard once more.

    "I'm sure he would love it. It would be great." says Brian on the possibility Kieffer could be drafted by Minnesota. "But you can't wish for something like that. You just gotta hope he plays as well as he's doing the rest of the year, and whoever drafts him really wants him."

    When asked about whether he sees his game in his son, Brian agrees- with a couple of caveats. "He can shoot the puck a hell of a lot harder than me, and he can pick corners a hell of a lot better. But the flip-side is, I tell people [that ask] 'Is Kieffer better than you?' all the top players are. They've just advanced so much."

    While Kieffer, an Edina native, following in his father's footsteps would be a great story for him and the fans in the State of Hockey, this could also lead to heightened expectations for the 17-year-old. Most fanbases don't expect their first-round pick to go on and score the 485 goals and 1,000+ points in the NHL like Brian did. Those could be some big shoes to fill.

    But the Bellows family is no stranger to great expectations. In Brian's draft year, he drew comparisons to Wayne Gretzky, which would be unfair to even a 17-year-old clone of Wayne Gretzky. And this wasn't just fans. Upon trading for a high pick in hopes of landing Brian, Minnesota GM Lou Nanne flat-out said, "We're looking forward to him like we did to Gretzky." But despite the hype, Brian was able to set it aside and carve out a great NHL career.

    But when asked about whether his legacy could put that kind of pressure on his son, Brian instead pointed to other challenges Kieffer faces now that Brian didn't face in 1982. "I could have a bad weekend on the road in Kitchener, and no one would know except my coach and the 19 players. Now with social media and the games on television, everyone's watching all the time."

    His advice to Kieffer in handling all that? "I tell him to be a great pro, you can't get too high, you can't get too low. You really have to keep a tight groove [mentally]."

    Even if Kieffer lands on one of the other 29 teams in the NHL, Wild fans who follow college hockey will still get to follow him on his way to the NHL. He'll be attending Boston University next year along with Wild prospect Jordan Greenway.

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