In the offseason, there was a fear that Josh Bailey’s days as a member of the New York Islanders were numbered. Both Jordan Eberle and Bailey were exposed in the expansion draft and it was up in the air who Seattle was going to take for a while.
It ended up being Eberle, as we know now, but his future was uncertain. Looking back at the 2021 season, it was another fairly typical Josh Bailey season.
He finished the year with 35 points (8 goals, 27 assists) in 54 games. Paced out over a full year that’s 53 points and 12 goals. As we know, Bails will never be a 20 goal scorer, that’s just not his game, but he can put up 50 points in his sleep as he either did it or was on pace to do it (COVID shortened season) each of the past five years.
When looking at his role in 2021, he spent a majority of the time with Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier, which at times was the Islanders’ best line, especially after the Anders Lee injury.
Bailey never did anything flashy, but he was a steady top-six guy on this team. That is until the playoffs rolled around. For the second year in a row, he was downright dominant come playoff time.
He had 13 points in 19 games including six goals. One of which was a double-overtime game-winner in Game 5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins series.
He shot at an impressive 17.6% clip in the playoffs and now in 71 career games in the postseason, he has 16 goals and 50 points putting him 12th all-time in playoff points in team history.
Josh Bailey 2021-2022 expectations
Last year, Josh Bailey saw a dramatic increase in GF%, HDCF%, and HDGF% from 2020 to 2021 according to Natural Stat Trick. By all accounts, he was better in 2021 than he was the previous year.
The question for him becomes at age 32 does he begin to fall off? I don’t believe so. With Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier returning I’d fully expect that line to be just as good as it has been for the last two years.
Expect a very Josh Bailey-like year from him, somewhere around 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) playing roughly 17 minutes per night.
He will likely put up somewhere around 12-14 power play points and provide a stable two-way presence in the top-six. He can kill penalties if need be and play anywhere in the top line as well.
Bailey is one of the more versatile Islanders on this team, and sure he will still have his detractors for narratives that are approaching a decade old, but all things considered, he should still be a very reliable player in 2021-2022.