The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. six writers and 718 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2018 in the Buffalo Sabres organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Next up in the 2018-19 season’s Buffalo Sabres top 25 players under 25 series is #18 - Justin Bailey. The Williamsville-born player once again had chances to lock up a roster spot during the season and failed to grab the opportunity definitively.
When he signed his one-year, two-way contract in mid-July, Bailey would have known that this could be the most important training camp in his life coming up soon. If he fails to make the senior roster out of preseason, he’s going to find it even harder to make it back into the team during the regular season. That is, if he clears waivers to begin with.
The beefy forward has now been in the NHL for three seasons, playing in a total of 52 games, scoring 5 goals and 3 assists, and his window for impressing the top brass is closing very quickly.
The forward is blessed with straight line speed, but needs to process the game quicker. He finished off last season strong, and the hope will be for him to show at camp that he’s ready to play, or else he risks picking up the dreaded ‘career AHLer’ label after his contract expires at the end of this season.
#19 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen