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Just got word from the Islanders that 2008 First round draft pick Josh Bailey will remain with the club for the remainder of the season and play in his 10th game tonight versus Ottawa! Here is the press release:

The New York Islanders announced today that 2008 first round draft pick, center Josh Bailey, will remain with the Islanders for the 2008-09 season. Bailey, who was selected ninth overall this past June, has played in nine games and has recorded five points — all assists. Bailey, who signed a three-year contract with the Islanders on his 19th birthday on October 2nd, will play in his tenth game tonight versus the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Coliseum.

“My goal ever since I was drafted was to make the team out of training camp and to stay with the Islanders for the entire season,” said Bailey. “I would like to thank (Islanders General Manager) Garth Snow and (Islanders Head Coach) Scott Gordon for the opportunity to play for the Islanders. I would also like to thank the entire Windsor Spitfires organization because I would not be where I am today without their help. I look forward to making Long Island my home.”

Said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow: “In a short time, Josh has met and exceeded all of our expectations of him both on and off the ice. We look forward to watching him continue his development this season as an Islander.”

Bailey made his NHL debut with the Islanders on November 11th versus the Philadelphia Flyers. He recorded his first NHL point, an assist, on November 13th at Ottawa. Bailey missed the first 14 games of the season with an injury.

Prior to being drafted by the Islanders, Bailey spent the previous three seasons with Windsor and Owen Sound of the OHL. In 191 career OHL games, Bailey scored 58 goals with 125 assists for 183 points.

It wasn’t really a surprise to me or anyone who has watched Bailey over the course of the past nine games, because he has been solid. Never rushes a decision with the puck, loves to work in the corners tight with opponents and makes tons of room for his forwards. It seems that opposing players go through fits trying to defend against him, often double and triple teaming him while he has the puck. He also loves to feather that soft pass through the seam right onto his teammates stick. There have been quite a few times where I had to do a double take when watching this guy play. Josh also have five points (0-5-5 in 9 games), five assists – so that is a real indication of what he does well with the puck. Even though he is still looking for his first NHL goal, it is fun seeing him play for our Islanders.

I know I was supposed to post a special on Bailey Thanksgiving day, a few things got in the way – so I will definately get it out there today. Unfortunately I have to run to out to work for an emergency – so I will post it when I get home!

Congrats Josh – I look forward to seeing you the rest of the season!