It was a bumpy ride for Josh Bailey in 2018-2019 for the New York Islanders. How will that translate in 2019-2020?
Expectations were high for Josh Bailey after signing a six-year deal to remain with the New York Islanders. His new cap was $5 million after previously being at a reasonable $3.3 million for the previous five seasons.
In 2017-2018 Bailey was an absolute stud. In 76 games he had 71 points so the thought was the Isles could be getting an almost point per game player for way under market value.
What we found out was that Bailey, along with the rest of the offense, would take a step back. Bailey had 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) last year. On a line with Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier he really struggled.
Through the first 24 games, Bailey was tremendous. He had 21 points for the Islanders over that span which included an eight-game point streak. After that solid first two months, he began to slow down as Anthony Beauvillier was virtually non-existent.
His struggles peaked in March when he went eight games in a row without a point. Ironically that was the same length as his highest point streak over the course of the season. Regardless, a 56 point season is still good value on someone getting $5 million per year.
That leads us up to this year, as Bailey is set to turn 30 just two days before the season. What can we expect from Mr. Bailey?
As of today, he will likely be paired with Brock Nelson on the second line. Who else will be included on that unit has yet to be seen but it’s a pretty safe bet that he will have Brock as his center.
Bailey wasn’t the same player last year but it’s safe to assume the Islanders will be better offensively this year in the second go-around with Barry Trotz.
I don’t think Bailey eclipses the 70 point mark, like he did two years ago, but let’s say something like 62 points (14 goals, 48 assists). If the Isles are getting two 50-60 point players on the second line in Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey they’d be in pretty good shape.
For some reason, Bailey is still the whipping boy for some Islander fans. If he puts up his fourth consecutive season with 50+ points it’ll make the haters’ argument get even worse.