Friday, June 20, 2008

The pick is Bailey

Josh Bailey, center from Windsor of the OHL is the pick at number nine. Ranked as the 14th North American skater... word on TSN was that he was the player the Isles had identified all along. Maybe a bit of a reach at nine, with Hodgson and Beach and Boychuk available, but that was clearly Snow's plan. He liked a guy he knew would drop, and used the higher picks to acquire additional picks.

Not a strategy that fans love, but other GMs would applaud. Especially in a deep draft, you pile up picks and that gives you not just more players, but flexibility.

Bailey last season - 67 games, 29 goals, 67 assists for 96 points. Regarded as a two-way player and a good playmaker, especially on the power play. We'll meet him soon on the video board here.

The draft is a crap shoot, people. And it's only part of what the Isles need to do before the new season. There's always free agency.

The question is whether the Isles will try and trade back into the first round since they have so many second-round picks, and it is certainly possible. Again, in the end, if they can get two first-rounders and the player they wanted all along, the team will consider the draft a success.

UPDATE: Draft party host John Buccigross of ESPN just interviewed Bailey. He described himself as an offensive player who sees the ice well and has a head for the game, adding that the players he looked up to the most were Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic.

Asked if he thought he was ready to play in the NHL now, he said, "Yeah, definitely," and that he wanted to keep building up his strength. Bailey received a warm round of applause from the remaining fans -- the most disgruntled and disappointed have already, like Elvis, left the building.

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