His teammates think it. His coach thinks it. He thinks it.
Right now, Casey Bailey is playing some of his best hockey, not just in blue and white, but in his career. And despite winning only one game this weekend, his performance showed it and there are several contributing factors to his success in 2014-15.
His coach said it’s what Bailey, who has posted 22 points -- 14 of them goals -- is doing when he doesn’t have the puck on his stick.
“He’s always been a guy that we’ve felt the better hockey he plays, meaning what he does away from the puck. When he’s doing that, it usually means he’s scoring goals," Guy Gadowsky said. "The better hockey he plays, especially away from the puck, it seems he scores more goals.”
For Bailey, it’s the work he’s putting in off the ice. Bailey and Gadowsky said Bailey has watched his eating habits, becoming healthier. He also has been in the best condition he’s ever been in, Gadowsky said.
“The more I focus on the off-ice eating and the way I live off the ice away from the rink is definitely helping out,” Bailey said.
One of the reasons for the switch and improvement in focus is his future. Bailey, who posted a hat trick on Friday, is undrafted by an NHL team. It’s unlikely he will be drafted in the coming years, but it is likely he could sign out of college with an NHL club, one of the ultimatel goals for hockey players.
“I’m getting older now,” Bailey, a junior, said, “and I’m seeing there is a future in this for me.”
His performance is getting attention by more than just every member of the Penn State squad as he and Taylor Holstrom were nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, the college hockey equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
“One-hundred percent,” Gadowsky said when asked if it’s the best hockey he’s seen Bailey play.
“Yeah I think so,” linemate David Goodwin said. “I think if we would vote on MVP, there’s no doubt he would be it. We look to him for scoring, but he kills penalties, he makes plays. He’s very, very valuable for our team.”
This article was from Pennsylvania State University / Daily Collegian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.