The 21-year-old Bowmanville, Ontario native was drafted into the NHL by the New York Islanders in 2007. Skating since he was two and a half and playing in a league by age four, Bailey says he was "born with a stick in [his] hand."
Even from such a young age, he knew he wanted to play hockey for the rest of his life. From peewee teams to the Ontario minor hockey league, he focused endlessly until he reached his goal. Now his schedule is filled with six days a week of practice, game analysis, and physical exercise.
"Being good isn't enough anymore," he says. "There is a lineup of guys who want your spot. You have to work harder to stay."
Before making it big, Bailey was just a kid playing the sport he loved. At Roger Neilson's Hockey Camp in Aurora, Ontario, his parents and grandparents would cheer from the stands as Bailey, his cousin and brother teamed up and usually won the championship trophy at the end. While seven summers at hockey camp helped him develop the technical skills he needs today, for Bailey, camp was about the fun of the game.
"I was learning a lot, but I was a lot more focused on having fun," he says. "We just went to have a good time, and it makes you love the game even more."
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