Lets all take a look at the 8-10 spots in the draft to get some perspective on what to really expect in this area of the draft. These are going to be objective observations, ESPN used their GVT stat to show that the average production from this spot is extremely low compared to the top three on an average year, but lets look at the actual players taken fom 8-10 since 2000.
8 - Tampa Bay - Nikikta Alexeev - Winger, 159 GPs, 20 goal, 17 assists
9 - Calgary - Brent Krahn - Goalie - 1 Game played
10 - Chicago - Mikhail Yakubov - Center - 53 Games played, 2 goals, 10 assists
Notable miss - Ron Hainsey at 13 Orpik at 18, Justin Williams at 28, and Niklas Kronwall at 28.
Thoughts: Not a great start in finding a star.
8 - Columbus - Pascal Leclaire - Goalie - 173 Games played.
9 - Chicago - Tumo Ruutu - Center - 611 Games 139 Goals, 189 assists, 328 total points
10 - NY Rangers - Dan Blackburn (ha!) - 63 games played
Notable misses - Dan Hamhuis at 12, Ales Hemsky at 13, Kobasew at 14, Umberger at 16
Thoughts: A bit better, just from Ruutu, but still not great.
8 - Minnesota - Pierre Marc-Bouchard - Center - 593 Games played, 110 Goals, 246 assists, 356 points
9 - Florida - Petr Taticek - Center - 3 Games played. No goals or assists.
10 - Calgary - Eric Nystrom - Left Wing - 473 games played. 59 Goals (4 in 1 game this year), 42 assists, 101 points.
Notable misses: Ballard at 11, Semin at 13, Steen at 24, Cam Ward at 25.
Thoughts: Won't say anything bad about Nystrom, PMB has had a good career, no above average players yet though.
(best draft ever)
8 - Atlanta - Braydon Coburn (traded by Atlanta for Zhitnik rental!)- Defensemen - 560 Games, 36 goals, 118 assists.
9 - Calgary - Dion Phaneuf - Defensemen - 667 Games played, 114 goals, 255 assists.
10- Montreal - Andrei Kostitsyn - Right Wing - 398 games, 103 goals, 119 assists.
Notable misses, where to start (Rags picked Jessiman at 12!) Carter at 11, Seabrook at 14, Robert Nillson (ha!) at 15, Parise, Fehr, Getzlaf, mark Stuart, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Corey Perry
Thoughts: Thanks Milbury.
8 - Columbus - Alexandre Picard - Left Wing - 67 Games played. 0 goals, 2 assists.
9 - Ananheim - Ladislav Smid - Defensemen - 524 games, 12 goals 57 assists.
10 - Atlanta - Boris Valabik - Defensemen - 80 games, 0 goals, 7 assists.
Notable misses: Stafford at 13, Radulov at 15, Zajac at 20, Cory Schneider at 26, Mike Green at 29
Thoughts: Smid is a nice player, but again, not much there.
8 - San Jose - Devin Setoguchi - Right Wing - 452 games, 127 goals, 121 assists, 248 points
9 - Ottawa - Briane Lee - Defensemen - 209 Games, 5 goals, 31 assists, 46 points
10 - Vancouver - Luc Bourdon - Defensemen - 36 games - 2 goals, 0 assists. 2 points.
Notable misses: Kopitar at 11, Marc Staal at 12, Ryan O'marra at 15 (thanks Milbuiry), Oshie at 24, Rask at 21, Cogliano at 25, Niksanen at 28
Thoughts: Setoguchi started hot on Thorton's wing, not much since then. another bad draft for these picks.
8 - Phoenix - Peter Mueller - Center - 297 games, 63 goals, 97 assists, 160 points
9 - Minnesota - James Sheppard - Center - 319 games, 14 goals, 54 assists, 68 points
10 - Florida - Michael Frolik - Left Wing - 417 games, 75 goals, 111 assists, 186 points.
Notable misses: Bernier at 11, Bryan Little at 12, Grabner at 14, Giroux at 22, Varlamov at 23, Berglund at 25
Thoughts: At least these teams got some games out of these players, but Frolik was the best of them, and far from a great player.
8 - Boston - Zach Hamill - Center - 20 games. 0 goals, 4 assists
9 - San Jose - Logan Couture - Center - 285 games, 108 goals, 103 assists, 211 points
10 - Florida - Keaton Ellerby - Defensemen - 205 games, 4 goals, 22 assists.
Notable misses: McDonagh at 12, Shattenkirk at 14, Pacioretty at 22, Perron at 26.
Thoughts: Couture is awesome, best player in this slot from 2000-2007 so far.
5 - Toronto - Luke Schenn - Defensemen - 421 games, 21 goals, 76 assists, 97 points
6 - Columbus - Nikita Filatov - Left Wing - 53 games, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points
7 - Nashville - Colin Wilson - Center 377 gmes, 52 goals, 77 assists, 130 points
8 - Phoenix - Mikkel Boedker - Left Wing - 324 games, 50 goals, 86 assists, 136 points
9 - NY Islanders - Joshua Bailey - Center - 393 games, 64 goals, 102 assists - 166 points
10 - Vancouver - Cody Hodgson - Center - 197 games, 51 goals, 61 assists, 112 points
Notable misses: Karlsson at 15, Gardiner at 17, Eberle at 22, John Carlson at 27.
Thoughts: Well here we are. Added the 5-8 picks for context, because we traded from 5 down to 9 that year. I'm fine with not taking Schenn or Filatove. You could argue Colin Wilson might be better, but not by any significant amount. Boedker is emerging a bit now, but we would have ran him out of town by now, I love Hodgson in the OHL, but he's asked off of a good Vancouver team, and has put up some points with a lot of ice time and PP time in Buffalo, he probably doesn't get those minutes on a good team. 70 of his 112 points came with big ice time on bad teams, 5 years into his career.
8 - Dallas - Scott Glennie - Center - 1 game. 0 goals, 0 assists
9- Ottawa - Jared Cowen - Defensemen - 151 games, 11 goals, 21 assists, 32 points
10- Edmonton - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson - 207 games, 32 goals, 38 assists, 70 points.
Notable misses: DeHaan at 12, Kulikov at 14, Leddy at 16, This draft is still relatively new, so more misses will emerge as time goes on, because there are some good players in this first round.
Thoughts: I think Cowen might be one of the better players in this study, I was a big fan of his pre-draft, because he was a big, mean sonuvagun in junior hockey. The other two didn't exactly work out.
8 - Atlanta - Alexander Burmistrov - Center - 194 games, 23 goals, 35 assists, 58 points
9 - Minnesota - Mikael Granlund - Forward - 81 games, 8 goals, 35 assists, 43 points.
10 - NY Rangers - Dylan McIlrath - Defensemen - 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists
Notable misses: Cam Fowler at 12, Jaden Schwartz at 13, Tarasenko at 16, Kuznetsove at 26, Vistenin at 27, The Reverend at 30.
Thoughts: Too early to really judge this draft, but Granlund is likely to become a really good player
2011 (second best draft after 2003 to me, very deep 1st round)
8 - Philadelphia - Sean Couturier - Center - 190 games, 27 goals, 49 assists, 76 points
9 - Boston - Dougie Hamilton - Defensemen - 91 games, 12 goals, 23 assists, 35 points
10 - Minnesota - Jonas Brodan - Defensemen - 109 games, 10 goals, 18 assists.
Notable misses: Nobody stands out yet, but the draft was relatively recent.
Thoughts: This group of players is probably the best 3 player group of this study. Time might make some of these guys look even better, or worse. I would take all three over Bailey, but it is still early in their careers.
Summary: The draft sucks. That 2008 draft sucked after the 4th pick. So in moving down, we got a few more lottery tickets that eventually allowed us to pick Hamonic. Also, take a look at how many really good teams missed completely in these draft spots, but surprise, surprise, they spent and were able to cover up the mistake.
So from 2000 through 2011, Phaneuf, Couture, Granlund, and Hamilton are better choices at the 9 spot, leaving Bailey right in the middle of players drafted in this spot. The argument can be made that he isn't a star and we should cut him loose, but then there is an argument that his floor is 30 points plus good possession, with the clear skill to produce more, and he's an NHL player. If he is played out of the lineup by young guys in the next 2 years, so be it, but that isn't the case This pick is the disaster that some make it out to be if Bailey played a dozen games in the league Bailey's agent got him that contract because he built a good case that Bailey is a solid NHL player, not because he pulled a hood over Snow's head (which I think many believe to be the case). I could also argue that "when the games mattered" last season, Bailey showed up, remember the 2-1 win in Boston where he scored both goals? His playoff stats weren't great, but the great Matt Moulson was demoted and Bailey took his spot, and that line kept flying (with Boyes), Bailey was on the ice for the beautiful Tavares game 4 winner
So I don't write this to argue that Bailey should be a top 6 player, I write to argue that the draft pick wasn't a disaster, compared to what was taken before him, and what has been taken at the 9 spot in recent draft history. Also, it would seem reasonable as fans to focus on where a good defensemen or goalie can come form, instead of single-mindedly hoping and only being satisfied when Josh Bailey is playing for the Vityaz in Russia next year. I want to look at other 3rd lines on really good teams and show you lots of Josh Bailey type players to argue that he has a spot on a good Islanders team, but I don't have the patience right now.