The Buffalo Sabres hit the ice on Monday morning for the opening day of their 2014 development camp with many young prospects hoping to make a name for themselves in the organization. Mixed in with all the big names and highly touted prospects, is an often forgotten Justin Bailey who is hoping his effort this year will be good enough.
For forward Justin Bailey, this could be the perfect year for him to crack the Buffalo Sabres roster. They’re in a time of rebuilding, the general manager has already stated they won’t rush their top young talent and Ted Nolan loves players who work hard for their ice time.
Bailey was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round of the 2013 draft but was one of the few draftees sent back to junior right off the bat. He spent last season with the Kitchener Rangers of OHL recording 25 goals and 43 points in 54 games. For his efforts Bailey was also named the Rangers MVP.
The great part of his ever improving game is his size (6 foot 3) and impressive speed which makes him a very valuable asset on offence. He can out muscle and work his opponents in the corners and along the boards, but can also burn them with his allusive speed which is often quite hard to judge. His speed was on full display on Monday when he burned past Rasmus Ristolainen after he misjudged his speed.
When Just Bailey was drafted he was thought of to be a big project who may be years away from every making the NHL. However, his development has skyrocketed and there is some serious talk about him making the team next year. His play making ability, scoring ability, speed and size make him a great player for the rebuilding and small Buffalo Sabres next season.
Do you think Justin Bailey will crack the roster?