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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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