Justin Bailey was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round (No. 52) of the 2013 NHL Draft. In his first season with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League last season, Bailey had 17 goals, 36 points and a plus-22 rating. Bailey has offered to maintain a blog and offer some added insight for NHL.com this week during the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.
Hi everyone. Well, we lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-2, in the Traverse City tournament final.
It was pretty a pretty even game, back and forth, chance for chance. We had a couple of good opportunities and their goalie made some good stops. They executed on the chances they got and I don't think we executed every single time, but I do believe it was a pretty even game.
Now that the tournament has come to an end, I must say it was a great experience. It's always good to play with and against guys older than you. To play with guys drafted into the same organization was great and having the chance to meet new guys was pretty cool. Hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to play with a lot of these guys in Buffalo one day.
The speed of the game is pretty similar to what I'm used to [with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League]. But you have to make decisions a little bit quicker and you get hit a little bit more. I thought I was well prepared for this tournament so I felt pretty good.
The main camp will be in Buffalo, my hometown, so it'll be nice to go home and get a home-cooked meal before I go to the big camp. The big thing is just to get rest. I think it's been a pretty tough five days for all of us -- it's been very quick. We had games at 4 p.m. and then had to wake up at 7 a.m. every day, so I think getting a good night's sleep and getting some good food and just being mentally prepared for what main camp will ultimately bring.
My goal at main camp is the same as it was going into the season; same goal at the NHL Combine. Basically, it's just to try and do my best and not to do anything that I'm not used to doing. The odds are I'll probably be back in Kitchener this season, so I think showing these coaches that were here that I was more than willing to play that third- or fourth-line role was big. Maybe I can improve into a top-six role at some point.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the season!