Islanders: Josh Ho-Sang loan with Orebro ends quickly

Joshua Ho-Sang #26 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Joshua Ho-Sang #26 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After five games with Orebro, Josh Ho-Sang’s loan is over. The New York Islanders forward had his loan spell cut short by the Swedish team over concerns with his fitness.

The former first-round pick from 2014 was sent to Sweden to get more playing time in one of the top leagues in the world instead of staying in North America to play in the shortened AHL season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang’s loan with Orebro is over

According to Orebro, Josh’s fitness level was an issue. It seems that Ho-Sang’s undeniable skill couldn’t bridge the gap that almost a year of no hockey has put him in. Here’s what Orebro said when they announced the loan was canceled:

Josh is far behind in training compared to the rest of the group and the adaptation to our game has not gone as fast as we hoped. In our situation and before the final sprint of the basic series, we feel that this is the best for us.

That sounds rough, I know. And some people will immediately think, Josh hasn’t been training and isn’t fit enough to play hockey. That is far off the mark.

Remember, like most pro’s in North America, Josh Ho-Sang hasn’t played since last March when the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the SHL season began in September. That means Ho-Sang has gone almost a full year between competitive games.

That’s a huge gap to bridge for anyone.

Now the question is, what’s next?

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I’ve heard from sources that Ho-Sang is still hopeful he’ll get another shot from another team in Sweden. I’ve reached out to his agent to see if Ho-Sang’s next destination will be Bridgeport. He’ll have to quarantine if so which means he’ll miss a number of games.

A ten-day quarantine effective, say today (which is generous), means he’d miss at least three games. Taking him to five games missed in a 24 game season. That’s 20% of the AHL season.

In five games with Orebro, Ho-Sang had one assist.