Underwhelming can sum up both the New York Islanders' and Josh Bailey's seasons so far. After a decent season last year in which he set career highs in points per game with .5 and shots per game with 2, Bailey has been one of the most frustrating players for the Islanders this season. Currently he's on a stretch over which he's scored 1 goal in 45 games, that one goal came on a breakaway.
Bailey does have talent, however flashes of confident offensive play are usually followed by weeks of indecisive, turnover-prone frustrations. One main criticism of Bailey's game is his reluctance to shoot, this season he has only 66 shots on goal in 55 games. For comparison, that would place him fourth among defensemen on the team in shots, behind Hamonic, MacDonald and Hickey. When he does shoot, the results have generally been good, Bailey's career shooting percentage is 11.8.
In my opinion, Bailey's defensive play has improved, and advanced stats would agree. His Corsi For % has increased over the last three seasons. This year, his CF is 51.7% and his Corsi Rel is +3.4%, despite spending about 40% of his ice time with the one-man Corsi black hole, Andrew MacDonald.
Due to a lack of depth of wings, Jack Capuano has played Bailey with Frans Nielsen on the second line most of the year, with some games spent on the third line. Islander management has shown loyalty to their first round picks (save Nino Niederreiter) and this strategy has paid dividends with the emergence of Kyle Okposo. Bailey is a year and half younger than Okposo, so it is possible that he follows suit.
Bailey's future could definitely be as a productive NHL player, but the Islanders are still trying to figure out in what role that would be. He could be someone who just needs a change of scenery, or possibly, he's never going to be more than a 30 point forward.