Sr. | D | Fredonia, N.Y.
Key Statistics: Bailen had seven goals and 15 assists in his junior year, which was his second year as a member of the Engineers after beginning his collegiate career at Bowling Green. Six of his goals were power-play goals and four were game-winning goals.
What He Does: A creative a productive player from the blue line, Bailen is one of the top offensive defensemen in college hockey. His 22 points ranked second on the team, just one point behind sophomore forward Brock Higgs. He was at his best in the middle of the season with 13 points in a 13-game streak from mid-November through mid-January. He finished the year with just six points in his last 16 games.
The Bigger Picture: Choosing Bailen as a player to profile for INCH A-Z is a bit of a departure from the kinds of lesser-known, emerging players that are usually featured because he was a first-team all-ECAC Hockey honoree and Second Team ACHA All-American as a sophomore following the 2010-11 season when the Engineers were nationally-ranked and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Everything changed for RPI last year when the Engineers won just three of their first 20 games and languished near the bottom of the league standings for most of the first half of the season. They closed with some momentum by going 7-5-2 over the last 14 games of the regular season, then won a first-round ECAC Hockey playoff series at Clarkson. A big senior year from Bailen could help lift RPI back into the top half of the conference standings, and return his name to individual award watch lists.