OHL: Bailey looks like first-rounder

Updated: November 29, 2012, 12:22 PM ET
By Victoria Matiash

On a roster already swollen with formidable talent, Justin Bailey is saddled with the task of making the best possible impression from the Kitchener Rangers' third line before June, 2013. Fortunately, the 17-year-old forward has managed to hold his own thus far -- despite a limited amount of OHL experience. Listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds (and growing), Bailey has the skills, smarts, skating ability, and physical attributes to attract the right brand of attention from the NHL scouting domain. So much so, the Erie County native is projected to be a first-round pick at the 2013 NHL draft.

"Everybody describes him as raw or green, because he's coming out of midget hockey," Rangers GM/Head Coach Steve Spott said following last Friday's 5-0 win over the Sarnia Sting. "But the package he has (size, skill, speed, hockey sense) is not only intriguing to me, but obviously to the NHL scouts. I believe he has the chance to be a top-six forward in the NHL."

"For me, he has to be a first-round pick," Spott added, comparing the power-forward to former OHLer Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers). "This young man, when he fills out and he's 23 or 24 years of age, could be a scary athlete."