One year ago, Josh Bailey
was wondering the exact same thing—with more than just a passing interest.
“It had been a long year, and I had been contemplating about the Draft,” Bailey said. “You try to figure out who you’re going to go to, and when you’re going to get picked.”
And for the young center—who was coming off of a 96-point season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL—the future was a complete unknown.
“There are a lot of different feelings I had,” Bailey said. “I was more excited than anything, wondering what was going to happen. But when that day came, and I got selected by the Islanders—it was such a great feeling. It was a great experience, and being drafted is definitely one of the best memories I have.”
Bailey was selected ninth overall by the Islanders and proceeded to make the team out of Training Camp. Although he battled an injury early in the season, Bailey came on in the second half—finishing with 7 goals and 18 assists in his rookie campaign.
Now, with a full season under his belt, Bailey goes about his off-season routine a little differently. He has gotten a taste of what it takes to compete against the best.
“It’s made a huge difference,” Bailey said. “I now know what I need to do this summer to be in the best possible shape. I’m going at it hard in the gym and I’m really looking forward to Training Camp.”
Just one year removed from the his own Draft experience, Bailey knows that the 2009 NHL Entry Draft is going to be a historic one for the Islanders.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Bailey said. “Whoever the Islanders pick for our team is going to have a huge impact for us and it’s definitely exciting.”
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