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06-30-2013, 07:06 PM
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Justin Bailey (2013, 52nd) – '16-17: Rochester #95 (AHL)

SourceQuote and/or Scouting Report
Tall and skinny winger with soft and hands and excellent anticipation. He has good speed, and strong push in his stride. He uses a shorter stick that allows him to play well in traffic and will use his skill and athleticism to his advantage. Creates shooting lanes and has a nice release. Dislaps a quick release. Creates turnovers and is smart with his passes. He must improve balance, and add leg strength.
Bailey owns one of the best shots in the entire draft class, and has incredible athleticism and skating ability; looks like a linebacker on ice but has great hands. Injuries slowed him some this year and doesn't play as big as people want him to be, but still competes and puts forth an honest effort each shift.
"Bailey has made me both excited and disappointed this season," say Dan Stewart. "His rookie season in the OHL was an up and down affair just as his consistency levels can be in games. He would make you fall in love with him one game after a power rush where he also shows skilled hands and/or a powerful shot; then grow frustrated with him the next few shifts as he seems content to just float around not engaging in the ongoing action. Bailey had a very strong beginning to 2013 in January and February but his play and consistency again dropped off towards the end of the year as he ended the regular season with just one assist in his final eight games. The NHL team looking at Bailey will need to realize it is likely top six role or bust as he just does not have the consistent work rate to maintain a bottom six checking role. With that said his upside is very high if he can put everything together."
If he ever puts it all together, Bailey would be the ideal prospect for many a squad. He’s huge, at 6’3, 200+ pounds. He’s got hands, but is currently unable to dominate a game. The other knock on Bailey is that he doesn’t use his imposing size to its full effect. He doesn’t shy away from contact, but he could be better served adding more muscle to his frame and learning how to separate his opponents from the puck.
While he may not have quite lived up to the unfair and lofty expectations, Justin certainly had a very successful rookie season. Things started out slowly for Justin receiving ice primarily on the 4th line. He never really moved beyond the 3rd line this season due to the tremendous depth and veteran presence on the Rangers, but he worked well with his line mates providing some depth scoring down the stretch. Bailey’s work ethic improved and he battled for loose pucks and attempted to create turnovers. Justin likes to have the puck on his stick and is always looking for scoring opportunities in the offensive zone. He has shown some flashes of creativity with the puck. He works hard to be reliable in the defensive zone and is good at assisting his defenders down low and can play a full 200 feet. He has a tremendous shot that fools many goaltenders. His skating stride is fairly choppy and he has issues generating speed in his first few steps. While he is capable of reaching a good speed for a 6’3” forward, he needs to continue to work on his skating in the offseason. Although he’s a big kid, Bailey rarely gets involved in the physical aspect of the game, which may be a confidence issue at this point. He should look to add strength to his frame in the offseason in preparation for next year. Bailey will be looked upon to play a much larger role in the Rangers offensive plans next season as they graduate a number of key veterans.
Bailey is a high-upside forward with a multitude of tools, but he also carries some risk. He is a good skater, and he can generate a ton of speed, but he has a bit of an awkward stride, as he tends to not extend well through every step. He is a skilled player who can make above-average plays with the puck in stickhandling or passing, and he can flash flashes high-end ability with the puck. His shot is great, as it is both heavy and accurate. He has a decent frame, and is able to display a solid physical game in terms of his puck protection. He works hard on the ice, and he projects as a quality physical player, though he still has some bulking up to do. He is very raw, as injuries have hindered his ability to get a high number of repetitions. Whoever drafts Bailey inherits the risk of a player that has a fairly equal chance of being a top-six player or a bust.
Bailey adjusted well in his first season of major junior, combining a long reach, heavy shot, and powerful skating stride to secure 17 goals for Steve Spott's Rangers. A learning curve and mid-season spike in production were expected, as was the slight dropoff as the long junior season raged on. Regardless, all the power forward tools are in place, so now it's just a matter of bringing it all together with added strength, conditioning, and consistency. The skill and character foundations are in place. With more ice time in Kitchener and a world junior spot on the line, scouts are expecting Bailey to show a major leap in production next season.
Tall, athletic forward .. still must fill in and strengthen a wide, lanky frame .. an incongruent skater at this stage who can appear efficient and powerful at times - but also sloppy and wasteful .. can upgrade a sluggish first few steps by cleaning up his mechanics which have excessive movements which impairs quickness .. does attain a fast top speed once in motion however, and can blow by defenders outside exploiting his gears of acceleration .. gets let down by his puck control however, and must continue to refine choppy puckhandling skills .. best weapons are a stinging wristshot and snapshot that literally explode off the blade of his stick .. shows impressive accuracy on his snapshot - which features a dynamic release that handcuffs goalies .. brings sporadic physical involvement .. stops moving his feet at times - and can be timid about entering high-traffic areas .. did a better job of driving to the net in the second half .. just scratching the surface of his mostly untapped raw potential .. saw relegated duties late in the season and in the playoffs - scoring just one goal in his final 21 games including playoffs (21-1-5-6).
Bailey is a very raw prospect. This was his first OHL season and he went through some growing pains. But...he's got a very high ceiling, if the team that drafts him is willing to be patient. Bailey has size at 6'3, but is currently very lanky. He can be pushed off the puck too easily right now and needs to add strength to be a more effective player in traffic. But at his size, he's a terrific skater. He changes direction very well and has an extra gear. He's a bit of an awkward skater though, sort of wide strides similar to Wayne Simmonds when he played in the OHL. Offensively, his biggest weapon is his shot. He's got massive goal scoring potential at the next level. His snap and wrist shot are fantastic; both hard and accurate. But, I think there has to be some concern that he scored only 2 goals in his final 21 games (including playoffs). He looked gassed towards the end of the year, further proof that conditioning is an area of concern. The rest of his game is also a work in progress. For his size, he could stand to play more physical and engage in traffic more consistently. His two-way game is evolving and has potential because of his size and skating abilities. When he becomes the sum of his parts, Bailey could be a very good player and that's what has drawn the interest of scouts.
A highly intriguing prospect, Bailey has great size and a good base of skills that could land him in the second round of the draft. In his first season of junior hockey after competing for the Long Island Royals AAA program, Bailey handled the transition extremely well, putting up 36 points in 57 games. The former Michigan State commit had to shake off some early season injuries, but his game continually improved as the season went on. He has a long way to go in his development to reach his full potential, but the upside for him is really exciting. At 6-3, 186, he can add some strength and potential develop into a top-six style forward with good puck skills and an ability to get to the net.

A/V Club

Draft-Day Interviews

2013.06.30 – Brian Duff interviews Justin Bailey after being selected 52nd overall. <1:46>

2013.06.30 – Justin Bailey meets with the media after being selected 52nd overall. <8:32>

2013.07.02 – Justin Bailey joins WGR's Howard Simon Show. <5:55>

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Last edited by Woodhouse: 07-02-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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