Editorials

New York Islanders: Josh Ho-Sang Needs To Continue To Play

By Matt O'Leary
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Josh Ho-Sang
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Josh Ho-Sang /
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Josh Ho-Sang did not have a good game last night against Dallas. The New York Islanders forward needs to continue to stay in the lineup, though.

New York Islanders rookie Josh Ho-Sang has gotten a lot of heat thrown his way for his play this season. As we all know he had a stint in the AHL, but since his return, he has eight points in 15 games.

Surprisingly his offensive production is being overlooked by many. Last night, after a poor game against Dallas many were calling for a Ho-Sang benching or worse a demotion.

Here’s some Twitter reaction from last night:

The Ho-Sang narrative this year has been wildly inaccurate. To claim he needs more time in the AHL, doesn’t make much sense at all.

He played six games in Bridgeport this year in his demotion, in those six games, he produced six points. Naturally, the Islanders called him up with the injuries they suffered.

The analogy I like to use is this; if you’re learning to ride a bike (play at the NHL level) you have to start with training wheels (the AHL level). Ho-Sang has already mastered the training wheels, he just sometimes struggles on the two wheels, but has shown flashes of being a great bike rider.

You aren’t then going to slap the training wheels back on, you’re going to push through the ups and downs of the struggles of riding a two-wheeler to get better.

Point Production and Projections

Ho-Sang has played 21 games this year, in those games he has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists). If he played a full 82 game season, he would have a pace of 47 points this season. I’m not sure about you but I want as many 40+ point players in my lineup as possible.

Another thing to consider is who Ho-Sang is playing with. Brock Nelson is the hibernation king. He’s scored two goals in the past five games which is great, but on the full season, he’s only got 12 points (9 goals, 3 assists). He’s played in all 31 games and has the same amount of point Ho-Sang has in just 21 games. Nobody is calling for Brock Nelson to sit though.

Then on the left wing, you have Anthony Beauvillier. Beau, as much as we love him is no offensive guru. He’s got six points in 26 games. In theory, if you put Ho-Sang on a more productive line you’d have even more production than you already are getting from him.

Turnovers and Possession

The argument against Ho-Sang is he turns the puck over too much. He’s averaging just over one turnover per game. For as good of a season Bailey is having, he’s right there with Ho-Sang averaging .94 giveaways per game.

Why do players like Ho-Sang, Tavares, Bailey and Barzal giveaway the puck so much? Because they possess the puck so often. At least the others listed here have reliable offensive weapons on their line, Josh Ho-Sang is trying to create offense by himself out there thus causing more turnovers.

New York Islanders fans are spoiled with Mathew Barzal’s play. Rookies aren’t supposed to catch on that quick. Often times in a rookie season there will be ups and downs, which is completely normal. We’re seeing that from Ho-Sang right now.

Next: Josh Bailey The NHL Assist Leader

He hasn’t been spectacular, nor will he be in the Calder conversation, but Josh Ho-Sang has had a fine and productive rookie season. There’s no reason to scratch him or send him down, that won’t do anything for his growth at the NHL level.

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