New York Islanders youngster Josh Ho-Sang has the ability to become one of the NHL’s most promising phenom stars.Even though it took longer than we wanted, New York Islanders fans got their first taste of winger Josh Ho-Sang. Despite only playing in 21 games, Ho-Sang quickly a fan favorite among the Islander fan base. Heck, I haven’t been this excited over an Islander since John Tavares made his debut in 2009.
With the Islanders struggling early on many wanted Ho-Sang, who was tearing it up down in Bridgeport, to be called up. After being called up then sent down hours later, Ho-Sang was then called up again during their nine-game road trip on March 2 against the Dallas Stars. It wasn’t until his fourth game against the Edmonton Oilers, when he buried a powerplay goal past Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, for his first goal of his career.
Even though the stat sheet may not jump right out at you, Ho-Sang helped provide a spark to this team when they needed most. He finished the season with four goals and six assists for a plus-one rating, averaging over 16 minutes of ice time a game.
But as I said in my Islanders season awards article, the numbers just don’t do justice for him. His play is flat-out dazzling. Whether it’s his silky mitts, smooth skating, or flashy passing, Ho-Sang is one of the more fun Islanders to watch on the ice. Oh, and his goal celebrations are always on point.
Josh Ho-Sang's Celly??! SICK GOAL AND A FUNNY CELEBRATION! https://t.co/sBX5RvoisF
— AK (@bitchwenotcoool) November 6, 2014
What’s next for Ho-Sang?
With his play at the end of the season, it’s pretty much safe to say Ho-Sang will be on the Islanders roster at the start of the 2017-18 season. The question is what line will he play on? If I were the coach, I’d play him by the side of my star captain John Tavares.
It seems like forever now that the Islanders have been looking for a winger to go alongside John Tavares. We thought that problem was solved going into last season with the signing of Andrew Ladd, but that turned out not to be the case. So now we bring up the annual offseason question, “will Garth Snow get Tavares a winger?”
With the little faith I have in this dumpster fire of a general manager, I will say no. He won’t make a trade for a player like Matt Duchene and honestly, the free agent class is nothing special. The only names that jump out on the list are TJ Oshie and Alexander Radulov. So that means the Islanders might have to look from within.
The Lee-Tavares-Bailey looked awesome in stretches during the year and they are one of the main reasons the Islanders got back into the playoff mix and made 81 of the 82 games matter. But towards the end of the year, Ho-Sang got some playing time with Tavares and they looked phenomenal together. Tavares always brings out the best in his wingers (look at Anders Lee) and pairing him up with Ho-Sang can be mutually beneficial.
However, I still believe Snow should bring in a winger for Tavares. If you want him to invest in the team, you have to show that you are willing to invest in him by building around him. But that story is for another day. So for now assuming that Snow doesn’t add anyone, I would love to see a Lee-Tavares-Ho-Sang line at the beginning of next season.
Also, having a full season of Ho-Sang on the powerplay will make it much much better. I mean, the power play can’t get any worse than last year, right? Ho-Sang showed glimpses of how lethal he can be. With the end of last season and training camp, Ho-Sang will develop better chemistry with these guys and help make this horrendous powerplay better.
The sky is the limit for the 21-year-old kid from Toronto and I cannot wait to watch him on the ice again. For now, all we can do is just watch his highlights to get pumped for next season.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 2, 2017
— YeSUV (@IslesWhiteSUV) March 24, 2017
— YeSUV (@IslesWhiteSUV) March 14, 2017