Hopes were high for New York Islanders draft pick Joshua Ho-Sang. The 2014 first rounder was attending his second NHL training camp this year before things fell apart.
According to reports out of Newsday.com, Ho-Sang reported late for the Islanders first training camp and he was sent back to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Ho-Sang had a very successful 2014 season in the OHL where he scored 81 points between the Windsor Spitfires and the Ice Dogs, where he was traded to in the middle of the season.
Windsor’s head coach Bob Boughner foreshadowed potential issues when he spoke to the Windosr Star about the trade at the time it occurred.
“It was mandatory that we had to trade him. For many, many, numerous internal reasons, the people that truly know what went on behind the scenes would understand why we had to trade him. We might not be a better team in the standings because of it, but we’re definitely a better team within our four walls and it’s only going to help for the future.”
It wasn’t expected that he was going to make the Islanders roster one way or another, so it isn’t a major step back for Ho-Sang. Hockey’s Future projected him to return to the Ice Dogs.
Ho-Sang attended Hockey Canada’s U20 camp in the summer and is a candidate to skate in the 2016 World Junior Championship. He will attend his second training camp with the Islanders looking to see some NHL time before likely returning to Niagara for his fourth OHL season in 2015-16. Ho-Sang’s offensive ability is substantial and he will be a welcome addition when he is NHL-ready — both physically and in his approach to the game.
Despite his skill, there has been concern about his attitude and even selfish play on the ice at times. This incident does not help his reputation.
The 19 year old’s reputation has followed him throughout his junior career. He is known for his confidence and swagger and for his post-goal celebrations. He almost fell out of the first round of the 2014 NHL draft for the concerns around his character and eventually became a late first round pick.
Long term, what do the Islanders do with Ho-Sang? They are a deep organization with young talent, but Ho-Sang is arguably one of their best offensive prospects. The punishment for coming to camp late may be seen as a bit harsh, but it is likely that the organization just wants to send specifically Ho-Sang a message that this behavior will not be tolerated.