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Islanders: Linkoping GM no worries on Josh Ho-Sang’s fitness

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 18: A detailed view of a Linkoping HC jersey during the game against Djurgarden Hockey at Hovet Arena on February 18, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - FEBRUARY 18: A detailed view of a Linkoping HC jersey during the game against Djurgarden Hockey at Hovet Arena on February 18, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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On Valentines Day, Linkping HC acquired New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang on loan. Ho-Sang was available after his loan with Orebro was terminated only five games into his career with the Swedish side.

In those five games, Ho-Sang put up a single assist (a secondary assist) and a few highlight-reel plays. But Orebro felt that Ho-Sang’s fitness wasn’t at the level they had hoped when they initially signed him on loan.

It was certainly a blow for Ho-Sang who’s hoping to work his way back to the NHL. But he didn’t have to wait too long before SHL side Linkoping HC came calling for his services.

Now that he’s joined Linkoping, what does the team expect from Ho-Sang, and perhaps more importantly what do they think of his fitness level?

No worries on New York Islanders Josh Ho-Sang’s fitness level

It’s been a busy time for Linkoping GM Niklas Persson. With the transfer window closing soon, he’s still trying to find ways to improve his club to make that final push to stay in the SHL, and maybe even find a playoff spot. With 43 points in 41 games, Linkoping finds itself at the bottom of the 14-team league.

(In the SHL the bottom two spots enter a playoff with the top four Allsvenskan sides. The top two teams in that six-team playoff play in the SHL next year while the bottom four play in the second-division.)

Thankfully, he still found time to answer my questions about Ho-Sang’s loan. Namely, what is Linkoping expecting from Ho-Sang, and how do they feel about the concerns Orebro had with Ho-Sang’s fitness level?

"We are happy to have Josh with us. Our expectation is that he will contribute to our offense. He is a really skilled player who can play the game in high speed.After been with us now for a couple of days I have no worries about his fitness status, it is where to expect from a player that hasn’t played in such long time. He just needs to start play regularly now to get in game shape."

We’ll see how Ho-Sang gets on with Linkoping. He has yet to hit the ice for his new Swedish side due to paperwork issues. An issue that should be rectified soon, but perhaps not in time for today’s game against Frolunda.

The Islanders prospect desperately needs this loan to go well. Failing to stick with Orebro can only be seen as a failure even if there was little chance for him to be in the same game shape as the rest of the Orebro side who’ve been playing since September.

A good showing in Sweden this year could open a door for him back in North American for the 21-22 season.

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