When the Sabres drafted Justin Bailey in the second round of the 2013 draft, we all knew it would take him a while, if ever, to reach the NHL. Even when he started the season in Rochester, it was probably a long shot to be called up at any point this season.
That long shot has just come true, as the Sabres have just announced that they've recalled Justin Bailey from Rochester.
Bailey could get his first chance at NHL action tomorrow night in Philadelphia, as it seems that Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson's lingering injuries are continuing to, well, linger. Head coach Dan Bylsma said after practice that the team would not go with seven defensemen again in Philly like they did against the Florida Panthers.
Bailey has earned this call up thanks to a strong stretch of recent play, scoring 11 points in his last eight games. He is second on the Amerks with 10 goals, and has adjusted nicely to the AHL after a very slow start to his professional career.
Even though Bailey's call up comes thanks to strong play, the Sabres seem to fully be in "let's give everyone a shot" mode when it comes to call ups, as the recent promotions of Dan Catenacci and Bailey over players like Tim Schaller and Phil Varone would seem to suggest. Still, it's got to be an exciting moment for the hometown kid, and even more so if he gets to play tomorrow against the Flyers.