The New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang has joined the team on the road in Dallas today. Let’s hope he does what he says and: “runs with it”.
There was an inherent risk when the New York Islanders took when they drafted Josh Ho-Sang 28th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, a risk they knew very well but still took.
Going into the draft everyone knew about Ho-Sang’s larger than life self-confidence. It’s not something that is seen frequently in the world of professional hockey, and when it is, the hockey world doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Which is why the Thornhill, Ontario native barely made the first round in 2014. Even though he scored 85 points in 67 games played his draft year. This was a player scoring over a point per game in the OHL.
But the Islanders took the gamble. And so far the gamble is teetering on the edge.
The Story So Far
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Since being drafted Ho-Sang has been at the center of issue-after-issue with the organization. In his first camp with the Islanders, he showed up late after not setting an alarm. Prompting Garth Snow to send him back to his junior team immediately.
He parlayed that set back by putting up 81 points in 60 games between the Windsor Spitfires and the Niagara IceDogs in 2014-15. And an 82 point season with the IceDogs in 2015-16. Maybe things had turned around?
This season Ho-Sang was sent to Bridgeport. Where things didn’t start off so smoothly. Showing up late for practice, being a healthy scratch for whatever reason. It didn’t look like Ho-Sang was going to be taking that next step up to the NHL anytime soon.
And then, something changed, who knows what it was. But something changed. Ho-Sang wasn’t only getting ice time, but he was producing. Like, a lot. Since January 22nd, Ho-Sang has 20 points over 16 games played. Picking up an AHL Player of the Month Award for February today.
Make or Break
With Alan Quine likely out of the lineup, a spot opens up for Ho-Sang. What he does with it will be a big factor in determining if the risk was worth it or not.
Just before his draft Ho-Sang told Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons that in three years time he would be the best from his draft class. We’ll it’s year three and the likes of Aaron Ekblad, Dylan Larkin, and Leon Draisaitl will certainly have something to say about Mr. Ho-Sang’s statement.
A failure to seize the day and make the most of his opportunity would drop him down a few pegs in the eyes of the Isles.
With his recent run with Bridgeport, I don’t expect that to be the case. But that all depends on how Doug Weight deploys the 21-year-old. Playing less than ten minutes a night on a checking line doesn’t suit the skills that Ho-Sang possesses.
Put him on the second line next to Anthony Beauvillier and Ryan Strome, now Ho-Sang’s in a position to make an impact. We’ll see on Thursday what Doug Weight plans on doing and how likely Ho-Sang is going to fulfill on that promise he made almost four years ago. For now, this is a great first step for Ho-Sang and the organization.