How will Josh Bailey be without John Tavares?
For the past two years, Josh Bailey has played alongside John Tavares on the right side. The line had become one of the more successful top units in the game before JT decided to jump ship when the team needed him most.
Bails had a career year in 2017-2018 putting up 71 points (18 goals, 53 assists). The question for him is he going to be able to replicate his success with Tavares gone.
He will have a new center, most likely on the second line. It could be a few different guys actually. Any of Valtteri Filppula, Jan Kovar or Brock Nelson can be the center of the Isles second unit this year.
If Bailey keeps one consistent he’ll be okay, and that’s Anders Lee. Yes, Tavares was the leader of that line but Lee and Bailey still worked phenomenally together. Lee himself is a 40 goal scorer so that will be someone who could benefit from the pass-first mentality of Josh Bailey.
To expect Bailey to put up 70 points again is probably unfair to him. If he is in the 50-60 point range at $5 million you are getting fine value from him. There’s no guarantee that Bailey is the same player without Tavares, we found that from his wowy numbers from Corsica.
The Isles are just going to cross their fingers that he’s the player of 2016-2018 and there’s no regression to 30 point Josh Bailey of years past.