New York Islanders 2018-19 Season Review And Player Grade: Josh Ho-Sang
By Matt Hawkins
This New York Islanders forward only played 10 games in the NHL this season, but Josh Ho-Sang probably should’ve played a lot more. Ho-Sang didn’t put up many points during his time in the NHL but he elevated the play of his linemates.
Josh Ho-Sang was buried in the AHL by the New York Islanders last regime and it seems as if the Islanders new regime plans on doing the same thing.
It seemed as Ho-Sang was going to get a fair chance at making the NHL roster out of the preseason with the New York Islanders new General Manager Lou Lamoriello saying that he hadn’t seen any of the issues that the Islanders last regime saw with Ho-Sang.
However, Ho-Sang was still sent down to Bridgeport to start the season.
Ho-Sang would eventually be promoted to the NHL in mid-December and be put on the Islanders third line.
Coach Barry Trotz placed Ho-Sang with veterans Leo Komarov and Valtteri Filppula in hopes that the young forward would catch on to the defensive style of hockey that Komarov and Filppula played.
Ho-Sang did just that.
In his 10 games in the NHL Ho-Sang had a +/- of 2, 58.4 Corsi for percentage (CF%), 60.5 Fenwick for percentage (FF%), and was only on the ice for one goal against compared to being on the ice for three goals for. However, Ho-Sang still struggled with turning the puck over, having six turnovers and only three takeaways.
CF% and FF% being above 50% means that the Islanders had possession of the puck more than not having possession, so this is a good thing.
With this new defensive style of play, Ho-Sang’s point production took a hit. In his 10 NHL games this season, Ho-Sang could only come up with two points (one goal and one assist). But with a good CF% and FF% it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ho-Sang started to rack up points.
Ho-Sang’s presence also raised the play of Filppula and Komarov. And just because of that Ho-Sang should’ve had more time in the NHL this season.
Before Ho-Sang was called up, both Filppula and Komarov had played in 30 games. Filppula had 14 points (six goals and eight assists), for a 0.47 point per game rate. Komarov had 10 points (two goals and eight assists), for a 0.33 point per game rate.
Both Filppula and Komarov had a FF% under 50%, with 44.72% and 41.82%, respectively. This shows that before Ho-Sang, Filppula and Komarov weren’t controlling play very often.
With Ho-Sang, Filppula played eight games and Komarov played 10. In Filppula’s eight games he produced three points (two goals and one assist). In 10 games, Komarov produced the same.
Although Filppula’s and Komarov’s point per game rates dropped to 0.38 and 0.3, respectively, both of their FF%’s increased to 48.15% and 52.38%. With the additional of Ho-Sang, the Islanders third line was able to control play more often but did not produce many goals.
However, with the increased FF%, there is a good chance that the line would eventually start to score.
After Ho-Sang was sent back to Bridgeport, Filppula’s and Komarov’s games both regressed. They were both unable to score and were back to playing to their opponent instead of making their opponent play to them.
In 34 games, Filppula only scored 10 points (seven goals and three assists). This calculates to a 0.29 point per game rate. Val’s FF% also decreased to 44.04%.
Komarov played in 42 games. In those 42 games, he was only able to contribute 12 points (one goal and 11 assists). This comes out to also be 0.29 point per game rate. Without Ho-Sang, Leo’s FF% would also fall. His would be at 45.66%.
Due to Ho-Sang’s lack of playing time this season, it’s hard to really give him an overall grade.
However, I’m going with a C+ due to his inability to score during his very brief time in the NHL this season but yet also having the ability to raise the play of his linemates so his line controls play more and is able to tire out the opposition.
With Ho-Sang’s speed and talent, it is very possible that with more games in the NHL this season he would’ve been able to put up a decent number of points for the number of games he played and continue to play solid defense.
Hopefully, Ho-Sang gets another shot next season. He’s shown that he is capable of playing a defensive-minded game and should be given a fair chance.