Josh Ho-Sang, due to some injuries, got some action on the top line with Anders Lee and Brock Nelson at the New York Islanders practice today.
It’s no secret, the New York Islanders are slightly banged up right now. Andrew Ladd has been on IR for over a month, Cal Clutterbuck is banged up from the Islanders last game in Dallas, and Jordan Eberle didn’t practice today either.
Despite all of those injuries at the forward position, the Islanders put together something at practice today that would make any fan smile. Josh Ho-Sang was getting top line reps with Brock Nelson and Anders Lee.
Just last year, Brock Nelson and Josh Ho-Sang got off to a great start together when they played on the same line the first month of the season. Nelson had eight points in the first 11 games, and sure some of that can be a nod to Brocktober but also Ho-Sang made Nelson watchable.
If you think about it, the line from a structure point of view makes sense. Anders Lee on the left side is someone who goes to the front of the net and is a finisher. Then you have Brock Nelson who is the one with the good shot.
In most cases, your winger is the one with a deadly shot and the center is the playmaker. With this line, the roles are actually reversed. Josh Ho-Sang on the right side is the playmaker.
Throughout his career, Ho-Sang has been a pass-first kind of guy, kind of like Josh Bailey. You can’t pair him with someone like Mathew Barzal because they’re too similar. But since Nelson is a shooter Ho-Sang can be the one who brings the puck into the zone and makes plays.
Ho-Sang is only averaging just over 13 minutes a night. Him getting top line minutes would surely increase his production as well. Although improved defensively, Ho-Sang isn’t a bottom six player, he’s a top-six forward.
Josh was at his best in 2016-207 when he was getting 16:27 a night, and leading the offense. If this is the case for Friday and Saturday this would be fantastic.
Realistically, Jordan Eberle has struggled mightily this year. Since he isn’t a part of your long-term plans I’d much rather give Ho-Sang the opportunity and see what he can do with the increased ice time.
The treatment of Josh Ho-Sang has been something I’ve been critical of but getting him on the top line is a good start.