2017-18 Stats: 18G, 53A, 71P
Cap Hit: $5 million | 6 Years
Josh Bailey is still the best right-wing on the New York Islanders. With a career-high 71 points last season he’s got the highest potential for anyone playing on the right side.
With those 71 points from last season and the 54 points from the year before, Bailey had two years with back-to-back career seasons in terms of points. That culminated in a sweet six-year $30 million deal for the Islanders ninth overall draft pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.
(That deal was sweet for both the player and the organization.)
But unfortunately for Bailey, a single question will hang over his head in 2018-19. How does John Tavares’ departure for the Toronto Maple Leafs affect Bailey’s stat line?
Its impossible to disregard the impact Josh Bailey and John Tavares had on one another’s game. Both had great years when paired together over the past two seasons. Both mutually benefited from being on one another’s line. So with Tavares gone, can Bailey still be as productive?
If Bailey falters in the slightest Tavares’ departure will be talked about as the determining factor. But based on how Bailey played last year, how he created space and how he could find teammates in good scoring positions he should be able to produce somewhere close to the same without his former centerman.
Bailey might not start the season as the number one right-wing for the Islanders. But that won’t be due to his potential in 2018-19 or a knock on him. It will be strictly because of the chemistry that exists between Eberle and Barzal.