One thing that isn’t mentioned when discussing New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang is his power play abilities. If he plays this year at the NHL level he can certainly help that cause.
Josh Ho-Sang spent very little time with the New York Islanders in 2017-2018. In 22 games he had 12 points and somehow was blamed for the Islanders defensive struggles that went well beyond his stint on the Island.
One of the things that surprised me when looking at last year’s numbers was power play time. Josh Ho-Sang was sixth on the team in power play minutes per game with 2:15.
Doug Weight used him a decent amount on the man advantage that was actually really effective last season. The Isles were sixth in the league with a 23.2 percent efficiency. The Islanders went from 28th in the league up to sixth which is fantastic, and one of the best things about last year’s team.
This year, they’ll be without John Tavares, for obvious reasons, but they might have a potential replacement. Sure, Mathew Barzal is the obvious choice on the top power-play unit as the guy who carries the puck in but that role should go to Josh Ho-Sang on the second unit.
Josh’s specialty is zone entry. Even though he isn’t a center he can still play the role of Tavares as in he’s the “puck-handler” on the ice at the time. Ho-Sang using his speed to carry the puck in seems like a great fit.
In order to compensate for Ho-Sang acting as the puck handler on that unit, the Islanders could add a faceoff specialist to the unit. Enter Jan Kovar. In the KHL last year Kovar won 56.2 percent of his faceoffs, and once won 59.8 percent of his faceoffs back in a season.
In 2016-2017, Kovar added 17 goals on the power play. If he makes the team as the second line center, which he should, Kovar is my center on the second unit hands down.
Both Kovar and Ho-Sang add value to the Islanders on the power play, while veterans like Filppula and Komarov might give you something on the PK. That’s why I might consider having Ho-Sang on the roster and in the lineup over a Matt Martin.
That way, Ho-Sang can play on the third line adding scoring depth and power play help, while Komarov sits on the fourth line ready for the power play. The point here being that Ho-Sang has more value to the Islanders than just being a speedster forward. Hopefully, Barry Trotz realizes that.