The No. 9 pick in the 2008 draft, Josh Bailey spent much of his career up until last year looking like a minor bust -- an NHL regular, but far from a star. However, he made significant strides in 2016-17, tying for 22nd in the NHL in assists with 43; that's as many as more premium names like Jamie Benn, Johnny Gaudreau and Joe Thornton. In addition to that easily career-high assist mark, Bailey also set new personal bests in points (56), shots (173) and average ice time (18:22) while tying his previous personal best in power-play points (12). It's not unusual for players to find a new gear in their late 20s, but that breakout was quite unexpected and well out of line with his career stats. With Jordan Eberle having been brought in to skate on John Tavares' right side, it may be hard for Bailey to replicate last year's production, particularly considering his lack of goal-scoring prowess -- his career high in that category is 16. he'll offer some fantasy value if you don't draft him expecting last year's stats.
Bailey was not among one of the players that the Islanders elected to protect in the expansion draft, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. There is a widely circulated rumor traveling around that the Islanders have a deal in place with the Golden Knights involving their first-round pick that will keep Vegas from selecting players like Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Bailey. If the Isles haven't made a deal with Vegas, Bailey figures to be an attractive option given his career-high 56 points last year.
Bailey posted career highs in assists (46) and points (56) in the 2016-17 season. Bailey only lit the lamp 13 times, but he showed playmaking ability for most of the season, especially while playing on a line with John Tavares. Whether he will remain on the top line next season remains to be seen, but he should at the every least be a part of the top-six forward group.
Bailey posted an assist in Saturday's 2-1 loss against the Bruins, his second helper in as many nights. Bailey snapped a six-game scoring drought his last time out. He is up to eight assists in March, his second most productive month of the season in that category. Every time he etches is name onto the scoresheet he improves his career high in points, too. Bailey is up to a career-high 39 assists and 51 points with a few more games left to go.
As expected, Bailey (illness) will be in the lineup against the Rangers on Wednesday. Coach Doug Weight seemed confident following Tuesday's practice that Bailey wouldn't miss any time with this bug, and it appears he was correct. The winger will retake his spot on the Isles' top line alongside John Tavares, and he should also be back on the No. 1 power-play unit.
Bailey missed practice Tuesday with an illness, but he's expected to suit up against the Rangers on Wednesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Despite averaging 17:54 of ice time, Bailey is stuck in a 12-game goalless streak. The winger has garnered eight helpers over that stretch, which is a product of playing alongside John Tavares on the Isles' top line. If the 27-year-old can't find his scoring touch soon, coach Doug Weight may start to consider replacing Bailey on Tavares' right side with New York just three points back of a wild-card spot.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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