Years after being dubbed a problem player it is the “make it or break it year” for New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang.
The New York Islanders knew exactly what they were getting when they stepped up to the podium to draft Joshua Ho-Sang with the 28th overall pick in the 2014 draft.
As he grew up and went through the various stages of youth hockey in Canada, Joshua Ho-Sang always stood out. Whether it be a flashy move to get around a helpless defender, whipping a marvelous pass across the ice, or shooting off a pass from former teammate Connor McDavid, Ho-Sang continuously showed the pedigree and skills necessary to not only get ice time in the NHL but also to be a star.
In addition to skill shown before the draft, Ho-Sang has demonstrated his skill on the ice in the OHL, registering 81 points in 60 games and 82 in 66 since he was drafted prior to the 2014-15 season. Safe to say there has been a lot of minor league production to match the potential of the New York Islanders prospect.
Now, years later, what has that potential shown? A decent showing in the annual blue and white prospect scrimmage and being sent home from 2015’s training camp early due to behavioral issues.
Not one to shy away from controversy Ho-Sang has consistently been mentioned as a problem in the locker room and a bad teammate, leading to many calling the player a risk. Given how other athletes who have earned that distinction, such as Johnny Manziel, have turned out this isn’t the best professional start for Ho-Sang.
So what do the Islanders need from Ho-Sang? To quote Islanders GM Garth Snow in an interview with Newsday following the training camp debacle last year, “Enough with the bullsh*t.” At one point in his career, Ho-Sang was good enough to share a line with Connor McDavid, the man who appears to be the future of the NHL. Now? Ho-Sang doesn’t have the chops to play on the same line as Josh Bailey, Nikolai Kulemin, or Mikhail Grabovski. To quote Garth “bullsh*t”!!
Throughout his career, Ho-Sang has been able to demonstrate he can succeed if given the opportunity to play, and when you look at the current state of the Islanders roster we need him to succeed as soon as possible. With veterans Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, and Matt Martin all questioning if they should stay in Brooklyn or not, the Islanders need Ho-Sang to turn his potential into NHL minutes and points.
For Ho-Sang all the tools are there. What matters now is if he can put it together for long enough to earn his roster spot. Do I think he can do? At this point for the New York Islanders, that question no longer matters. This season the Islanders need Josh Ho-Sang to break through or they risk losing all the progress this season held.