Islanders Josh Ho-Sang honest self-reflection with song “Learning”

New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang releases “Learning”. A song about his journey to reach his dream of playing in the NHL.

We don’t often see the true side of NHL players. They’re cagey, conservative, and rarely say anything until they retire. That has never been the case with New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang.

Before he was eventually drafted by the Islanders in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft, there were stories about how he wasn’t the traditional hockey player. He wasn’t a conformist. At 18-years-old Josh was brash, confident, and he wasn’t scared to let people know.

NHL players are often told how to act, what to say, and when to talk. That wasn’t Josh Ho-Sang. Immediately after drafting him with the 28th overall pick in 2014, Islanders GM Garth Snow joined TSN’s James Duthie who asked Snow if Ho-Sang will fit in with the Islanders, to which Garth famously answered:

On Wednesday, Josh Ho-Sang released a song called “Learning”. 
With Learning, Josh Ho-Sang is using his voice in an authentic way. He’s just being himself and voicing what he wants to voice. It’s incredible and needs to be applauded.

Releasing “Learning” is important. Not only to own my voice and its power but to use my voice authentically and be heard as me: Josh. It is also important to me that others hear that they too can be themselves. -Josh Ho-Sang

We desperately want hockey players to show personality and to be themselves. We don’t want the robotic comments the lack of authenticity. With Learning, Josh Ho-Sang is doing just that.

The song itself is an honest self-reflection of the former first-round pick’s dream and what he needs to do in order to reach it. That dream is making the NHL. Permanently.

We all know how things have gone since Josh Ho-Sang was drafted by the Islanders.

  • The sleeping in at training camp.
  • Staying in the AHL way too long.
  • His electric debut in the NHL.
  • His comments and criticisms about his time with the Islanders (so far).
  • The trade request
  • Being sent away to play with the St Louis Blues AHL affiliate rather than the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Josh Ho-Sang knows where he is right now and what that means for his chances to make the NHL. Playing under the umbrella of an organization that doesn’t own his NHL rights isn’t what you’d call “a step in the right direction” in the hockey world.

I tried to change and do right I tried to grow through the dark times

my evolution is why I’m human

I learn and adapt

I change and adjust

-Josh Ho-Sang “Learning”

This song may not buy him any more fans within the stuffy upper echelons of the hockey world. But perhaps, his actions allow other players to take note and express themselves a little.

Although maybe not. Again, Ho-Sang is playing in San Antonio and not with the Islanders in the NHL.

Josh Ho-Sang has and always will be honest with his words. He has and always will be exactly what we want from hockey players; honest and to be themselves. I didn’t think I could support Josh Ho-Sang more than I already did. I was wrong. This is incredible. Show me a brick wall to run through.