The New York Islanders won’t be inviting Josh Ho-Sang to their training camp in a few days. It’s something that has confused just about everyone, including Ho-Sang and his agent.
On Wednesday, we found out that the New York Islanders might not be inviting 2014 first-round pick Josh Ho-Sang to their 2021 training camp. A move that surprised just about everyone.
During the offseason, the Islanders confused us all by qualifying Ho-Sang – who was an RFA – after he spent most of the 19-20 season at home while the Isles worked a trade and then another portion of the year playing for the St Louis Blues AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. We all thought the Islanders would cut Ho-Sang lose, just like they did with fellow RFA Linus Soderstrom.
But after qualifying him and then signing him to a one-year two-way deal, we thought there could be some sort of reconciliation between the two camps in 20-21.
And then they don’t invite him to camp, a move that surprised everyone, including Josh Ho-Sang and his agent.
After news broke that Ho-Sang might not be invited to camp, I reached out to Ho-Sang’s agent Patrick Bedell for a comment to the news. Was this decision by the Islanders a surprise, and what comes next now?
"It did surprise us. Josh has worked really hard over the past year and a half or so to grow as a person and a hockey player. He’s gone through a lot (you can read about some of it in his article from the summer). We were excited to show that growth. As for the future, whenever and wherever the opportunity comes, Josh is ready. I am confident that when it comes, he will make the most of it."
Why the Islanders aren’t inviting Josh to training camp is a mystery. In terms of needs at the NHL level, the Isles could use a right-handed shot who could put up points in the middle six. While Ho-Sang hasn’t played at the NHL level since 18-19, we know he can play.
In 53 NHL games, Ho-Sang has 24 points and regularly gets fans up and out of their seats with his offensive abilities. Not giving him the chance to prove he can fill that void on the Islanders third line is a confusing move.
Perhaps Ho-Sang won’t be the only player who isn’t invited to camp. Perhaps the Islanders want to run a slim training camp and are only inviting a few players who they know will be part of the squad. I doubt it, but it’s possible. With a short 10-day camp and no pre-season games, the Isles might not have the time to look at 40+ players before the 2021 season begins on January 14.
Maybe Lou addresses this in his press conference this afternoon?
For now, everyone including Josh Ho-Sang remains surprised by the Islanders decision.