Over the last three years, Josh Ho-Sang has played 53 games with the New York Islanders. While it’s been up and down for him, the team has won a ton with him in the lineup.
As it stands right now, the New York Islanders are without an additional top-six winger. The trade market and free agent market has been extremely quiet so maybe Lou Lamoriello will let the kids fight it out for a final spot in the top-six.
Someone who got passed over last year is Josh Ho-Sang. He spent a majority of the season in the AHL where he put up 43 points in 56 games. He does have NHL experience too, including 10 games last year, so theoretically he is the most experienced in-house option over guys like Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows.
At this point, everyone knows the story of Josh Ho-Sang. In 2016-2017 he came up and played in the top-six with a depleted roster and the Isles nearly made the playoffs. He followed that up with a short stint on the team, where he was just as productive, but the Islanders blamed him for their defensive struggles and sent him down.
Ironically, their defensive problems didn’t stop after JHS packed his bags for Bridgeport. Finally, in 2018-2019 he was on the team for about a month in December and early January putting up just two points over that span.
Keep in mind, Ho-Sang was playing with Ross Johnston and Val Filppula for a part of the 10 game sample. Anyway, now most of the JHS bandwagon has been disbanded.
Besides the points and his production what if we looked at the team’s record when he’s in the lineup. Last year this was brought up a lot because in those 10 games he played the Islanders were 9-1. What if you included the previous two years as well?
In 53 games, the Islanders have a 33-20 record with Josh Ho-Sang in the lineup (a .623 winning percentage). Does that mean Josh is the reason for the Islanders winning all those games? Probably not, but you are a better hockey team when you have good players in the lineup, and JHS is just that, a good player.
While not everyone likes charts, if you use the eye test from 2016-2017, when he was playing consistently in a top-six role, he looked like someone who could move the puck and make others around him better in the offensive zone (see Brock Nelson in October 2017).
You’re telling me that JHS wouldn’t be able to help the Islanders on a line with Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey? Both Bailey and Nelson are good two-way players and while Ho-Sang may struggle in the defensive end there’s no doubt that he, at a minimum, would provide opportunities for Bailey and Nelson.
The Islanders offense and power play was putrid last year. If the thought is putting Tom Kuhnhackl back up in that spot because he’s “a professional” please put me in a rocket ship and blast me directly into the sun.