This is Josh Ho-Sang’s last chance to show the New York Islanders new regime he is not only an NHL player — he’s a top-six forward.
From rookies, sophomores and even veterans, every New York Islanders player is buying into the start of a new era in their history.
Prospect camp is coming to a close with tonight’s scrimmage against the Philadelphia Flyers at 6 p.m., and with that many of the Isles young guns are off to their respective clubs.
Josh Ho-Sang hopes to not be one of them.
The 2017-18 season was about as kind to Ho-Sang as it was to the Islanders defense. Two different stints with the Islanders totaled up to two goals and 12 points in 22 games.
Then, Ho-Sang was reassigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. What’s more, is that a broken hand just weeks after his reassignment made things worse.
Arthur Staple of The Athletic asked Josh how hard it was:
“…I played through my hand being broken because I’m a hockey player, but it was really eye-opening, how I tried to manage it. And once the season ended, I realized I could have done a lot of things better in dealing with that. That kind of got the ball rolling.”
Ho-Sang’s struggle to play through injury taught him a lot about not just the struggle of day-to-day hockey, but the consistency and focus needed on that same day-to-day basis.
A lot has changed for Ho-Sang over the last half-year, but fortunately for him, so have the Islanders.
New head coach Barry Trotz is especially excited about working with Ho-Sang, and he told Andrew Gross of Newsday of his anticipation for it:
“I spent some time with him just sitting, just talking how he sees the game, how he sees life, how he sees himself,” Trotz said. “He has a tremendous amount of talent. With Josh, the No. 1 thing is to understand the whole thing of being a pro in every aspect. It’s the whole package.”
Oftentimes, it’s hard to bear the personal lives of players in mind and how that can affect them on or off the ice.
Ho-Sang has demonstrated an upbeat attitude throughout all of camp and has answered the media’s questions with a smile on his face. What Ho-Sang needed most, like any other one of the young players who skated in camp this past week, was something the organization had been lacking until now.
Structure, accountability, mutual respect, and a winning pedigree.
After attaining what is arguably the NHL’s best management, the Islanders are molding a new wave of young players who will see ice time in the years to come.
Ho-Sang is just the first of many who will be tested and is also by far the most important players the Islanders have in their system right now.
For the team to start moving forward, their top-six will need a serious shot in the arm and balanced contribution. Josh Ho-Sang alone will determine if that shot in the arm can come from him.
This is his best chance since being drafted to make a strong impact with the team, and if things go south, it very well could be his last shot with the Islanders.