UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders signed first-round draft pick Josh Bailey to a three-year, entry-level contract Thursday.
Bailey, chosen with the ninth overall pick this year, has been attending training camp with the Islanders but has played in only one of New York’s four pre-season games due to an undisclosed injury.
He turned 19 on Thursday and celebrated by signing his first NHL contract.
“It’s certainly a day I’ll never forget,” Bailey said in a statement. “I still have a lot of work to do and I’m willing to do it.”
It is not yet clear if Bailey is ready to make the team out of training camp. New coach Scott Gordon said earlier this week that if the young forward can’t play more than one pre-season game, he might not stay on the roster for the nine games he is allowed to be in the NHL and still maintain his junior eligibility.
“This is an exciting day for the organization as we continue to build our team with young players like Josh who have very bright futures,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement.
Bailey spent the previous three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound and his current team Windsor.
He had 29 goals and 67 assists in 69 games last season for Windsor, leading the team and ranking 10th in the league in points. In 191 career OHL games, Bailey has 58 goals and 125 assists.