Justin Bailey Sings Entry Level Deal With Sabres


The Buffalo Sabres have signed one of their own to a three-year entry level deal with the club on Sunday, signing their 2nd round pick from 2013, Justin Bailey. Bailey is currently skating with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL for his last year of junior hockey.

Bailey had an excellent preseason camp with the Buffalo Sabres but was sent back to Kitchener for a little more seasoning. Since returning to Kitchener the Buffalo native has been on fire with the Rangers with 9 goals and 18 points in 13 games. Heading into this season, many believed that Justin Bailey was the Buffalo Sabres hidden gem in their prospect pool and he’s certainly gaining attention for his efforts this season.

In 2013, all the attention was on first rounders Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen. Bailey, became a forgotten entity before this season. In camp he looked good, really good and many believed he was just a few years away from a steady stay with the Buffalo Sabres.

Clearly the Sabres saw something they liked through training camp and his start of the year and signed him to his entry level contract. Through 124 career OHL games, Bailey has 51 goals and 97 points. Bailey will finish the year with Kitchener before likely joining the Rochester Americans in the AHL next season for his first professional year.

There’s no need to rush him right into the NHL and some time playing in the AHL will likely do him well coming right out of junior. Bailey will never be a top 6 scoring forward for the blue and gold going forward, but will provide some nice forward depth when the young guys are ready to go.

Bailey is a powerful forward with a fantastic ability to protect the puck and a pretty decent shot to boot. He’s not afraid to mix it up or throw the body. Having a guy who protects the puck well, is tough and can shoot will only benefit the Sabres.

The Buffalo Sabres have gotten Justin Bailey’s entry-level deal out of the way, now he just needs to prove he can play at the NHL level.