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Bailey, young Islanders excited for future

23-year-old forward agreed to a new contract that will keep him in New York through the 2017-18 season

Monday, 07.15.2013 / 2:38 PM ET / News
By Travis Betts
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Bailey, young Islanders excited for future

The Islanders locked up another home-grown core player to a long-term deal Monday.

Josh Bailey agreed to a five-year contract that will keep him with the club through the 2017-18 season. The signing gives the team three players on the current roster, along with fellow Islanders draft selections Travis Hamonic and John Tavares, who will wear the Orange & Blue for at least five more seasons.

“Obviously I’m very excited,” Bailey said. “I have to thank the organization – Charles Wang and Garth Snow, as well as the whole coaching staff – for believing in me and committing to me for another five years. It’s a really special, incredible feeling.”

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow extended a verbal vote of confidence to the forward the Islanders selected ninth overall in the 2008 NHL Draft.

“Josh has become an important member of the young core of the players we have in our dressing room,” Snow said. “We’re excited to come to terms with him on a deal that will ensure he is a member of this team as we solidify ourselves as consistent playoff contenders.”

In 2013, Bailey posted 11 goals and 19 points in 38 games, registering the highest points-per-game total of his five-year career. The 23-year-old lit the lamp nine times over the final 20 games of the season, helping the Islanders reach the postseason for the first time since 2007. Bailey says the team’s upward-trending arc and the excitement surrounding the team’s success were big reasons to sign long-term with the Islanders.

“I think everyone who was a part of that, whether it was the players or the fans, could feel that energy at the Coliseum,” Bailey said. “It was nice to give the fans something to cheer about. We certainly didn’t accomplish anywhere near our goal, but I think being a part of that and seeing what it could be like, certainly it was a great feeling and something we want a lot more of going forward.”

The month of July has been a busy one for Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, who has inked several key players to long-term deals. Hamonic signed a seven-year deal earlier this month, and newcomer Cal Clutterbuck, who was acquired in a draft-day trade, signed a four-year contract. In past offseasons, with the future of the team up in the air, getting players to sign long-term was a challenge. But with the team’s future secure in its upcoming move down the road to Barclays Center, Bailey said the decision to sign was easy.

“The players know (the move to Barclays Center) is happening,” Bailey said. “And we’ve still got another two seasons at the Coliseum. I love living on Long Island and I love the people. It’s home to me now. I’m certainly excited for everything that’s to come in the next five years.”

Nine players on the current roster are signed through the 2015-16 season, which will be the first for the Islanders in Brooklyn. Along with Bailey, Tavares, Hamonic and Clutterbuck, also making the move west are Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Matt Martin and Brian Strait.

Bailey beamed when thinking of all he hopes the team can accomplish over the next few years with a young core of talent locked in place.

“Getting a taste of the playoffs last year, we all want that again and much more,” Bailey said. “That was just a small sample of what it takes, and it was a learning process for us. It’s going to be a battle like that every season, but one that we’re all excited about.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 11 6 5 -3 11
K. Okposo 11 2 6 -3 8
F. Nielsen 11 3 3 -3 6
B. Nelson 11 1 4 -5 5
T. Hickey 11 1 4 -5 5
A. Quine 10 1 4 -1 5
S. Prince 11 3 1 -1 4
R. Strome 8 1 3 1 4
N. Leddy 11 1 3 1 4
N. Kulemin 11 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Greiss 5 6 2 .923 2.46
J. Berube 0 0 0 1.000 0.00
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