Hockey Star Casey Bailey Signs With Toronto Maple Leafs
After Penn State’s season ended Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament, it looked like it was only a matter of time until Casey Bailey moved on to the major leagues. Saturday night, Bailey signed his contract with the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, per the team’s public relations Twitter account.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 21, 2015
The junior right-winger set season records at Penn State with 22 goals and 40 points, and his 80 career points is also a record for the Blue and White.
Playing most of the season alongside Taylor Holstrom and David Goodwin, Bailey dominated all season and, in January, was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. After the regular season, he was named to the Big Ten First Team. He was seventh-nationally with 22 goals, the highest standing of any Big Ten player. He was scouted all season thanks to his 6-foot-3 frame and his lethal shot, and rightfully so. He led all of college hockey with 211 shots on goal and 378 shot attempts.
Now, after his elite season at the college level, the Alaska native is taking his talents to Toronto. With ten games left in the regular season, the Leafs are mostly out of playoff contention, so they’ll be expected to give plenty of playing time to the Penn Stater.
Any team signing Bailey had to agree to burn 1st yr of contract now, Bailey immediately going to NHL club and playing games this season.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 21, 2015
While the contract details aren’t out yet, his rookie deal will have two years left on it and he’ll be counted on on the Leafs rather than with their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
Casey Bailey will be the first NHL player who has played in Hockey Valley. With the hockey program having just finished its third Division I season, Bailey will likely be the first professional of many. Congrats to him and the Maple Leafs, who just gained thousands of more fans.
Update 7:10 p.m.: Head coach Guy Gadowsky congratulated Bailey on his achievement in a press release.
“I’m extremely happy for Casey,” Gadowsky said. “He’s a great guy and a great player who had a great year. He deserves a lot of credit for his commitment to our objectives with and without the puck, and for the amount of work that he put into the weight room this summer and throughout the season with (strength & conditioning coach) Cam Davidson.
“We obviously would have loved to have him back next year, but at the same time this is a great step for our program. We will all follow Casey’s success in the NHL with great pride.”
Update 9:02 p.m.: Casey Bailey released a statement regarding his recent signing, thanking his Penn State teammates, coaches, and staff.
“I am truly fortunate and humbled by this opportunity to sign with such a prestigious Original Six organization, the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Bailey said. “I would also like to acknowledge how thankful I am for all of the love and support I have gotten over the years from my friends and family. I would not be where I am today without them. Also I would like to sincerely thank all of my coaches, teammates and staff at Penn State for getting me prepared for the next stage of my career.”