Instead of going to East Lansing and play for Michigan State University's Hockey Program, Justin Bailey has signed an OHL contract with the Kitchener Rangers.
The 1995-born forward was taken by the Rangers in the seventh round of the 2011 OHL Priority Selection and was also drafted 11th overall by the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League (USHL) in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft.
Last season, Bailey, who is listed at 6'3", 190 lbs., played for the Long Island Royals Midget Under-16 National Team and tallied 21 goals and added 13 assists in 22 games. If you're wondering why the team he played for sounds familiar, the Royals is coached by Hockey Hall of Famer, Pat Lafontaine.
The team was a subject of a documentary called "Making of a Royal" that was aired on the NHL Network this past season. This past April, the LaFontaine-coached team won the Tier I USA Hockey National Championship with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Elite Stars. In that game, Bailey scored twice and added an assist.
The native of Williamsville, New York, has been described as a power forward with a quick shot and impressive speed for a player his size. At 17 years of age, he still has some growing left, which could be scary for his future competition in the 'O'.
Bailey, who is eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, will represent his country by skating for the US Under-18 Select Team at the 2012 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament next month. He will be at the Rangers' training camp next month.