It was early Sunday morning when Islanders fans got an exciting announcement. It was just announced that Joshua Ho-Sang was on his way up from Bridgeport. Ho-Sang has had his fair share of ups and downs with the Islanders organization. Obviously, everyone remember him showing up late to his first day of camp after being drafted, only to be sent back down to juniors after running up and down the Nassau Coliseum stairs as a punishment. He also had some good moments, such as taking the NHL by storm and dominating offensively in the 2016-17 season. Islanders fans fell in love with Josh after that season, but things haven’t been the same since.
Ho-Sang made the roster at the start of the 2017-18 season, but didn’t produce nearly as much as was expected of him, and was upstaged by Mathew Barzal, who went on to win the Calder Trophy, an award that Josh Ho-Sang was anticipated to be in contention for heading into the season. Instead, Ho-Sang was sent back and forth between the NHL and AHL and ended up staying down there for the long haul.
Ho-Sang was very unhappy with this, and shared his frustrations with The Athletic’s Arthur Staple in an exclusive interview, stating, “There were some comments about me when I wasn’t in the NHL, so I wasn’t affecting the team, but they were focused on my defense and my turnovers when … look, if you’re going to send me down because of defense, it’d be nice to see other people be held accountable. That’s all.” Obviously, it doesn’t look good to say things like this about a team you’re trying to make, and he hasn’t gotten another shot with the big club since those comments were made. Until now.
Josh Ho-Sang is here, and even though it may not be for a while, he deserves a shot. This will be his first chance to prove himself under the new Trotz and Lamoriello regime. It appears as if he won’t be playing tonight against Pittsburgh, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get a chance to play before getting sent back down. Lou Lamoriello said that he is here for “depth,” but this season is still about evaluating future talent, which starts with Ho-Sang.
Going against the Penguins is always a physical matchup, so it makes sense to have either Kuhnhackl or Johnston playing, but I see no reason why Josh shouldn’t get his chance on Wednesday night in Brooklyn against the Golden Knights.