Josh Bailey’s Bill Masterton nomination is just the icing on what has been a career-season for the veteran forward.In a season where little has gone well for the New York Islanders, Josh Bailey provides hope for the Islanders future.
The Bill Masterton Trophy is awarded to the NHL player who is the best example of dedication, perseverance, and sportsmanship for the game of hockey.
Bailey’s nomination comes as no surprise. On and off the ice, the forward is one of the most open and generous players on the Isles roster, from taking the time to hand out pucks after every Isles pre-game warmups to the Bailey’s Buddies Program he runs with the Islanders.
The #Isles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that Josh Bailey is their nominee for the 2018 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 27, 2018
Bailey’s emergence started with a career-season in 2016-17 (13-43-56), and he continued his hot hand even without starting the season alongside John Tavares in 2017-18. On the second line, Bailey picked up an even more intense scoring pace that saw him match last season’s point total on his 49th game this season.
Thus far, Bailey has 18 goals and 51 assists, good for 69 points and third on the team behind Mathew Barzal and Tavares. Bailey is projected to finish with about 75 points and potentially his first-ever 20-goal season. In addition to playing in his first All-Star game this year, Bailey also cashed in on his production in February, when he signed a six-year extension with the Islanders.
Mark Fitzpatrick was the last Islander to take home the Masterton trophy for his overcoming of Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome and returning to hockey. Fitzpatrick is just one of two Islanders to ever win the award, joining Ed Westfall in 1977.