Of course, Josh Ho-Sang is frustrated he has yet to secure a full-time spot in the NHL. The Islanders’ former first-round pick believes that’s just natural.
“Everyone wants to play in the NHL, not just me,” said Ho-Sang, 23, selected 28th overall in 2014. “If you ask any AHL player, ‘Are you upset you’re not in the NHL or does it frustrate you?’ Yeah, of course. But, at the same time, this team has been amazing this year. It’s definitely easier not to be in the NHL when the NHL team is great.”
The Islanders, with several players fighting a stomach virus, brought up Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle, 22, the fifth overall pick in 2014, on emergency recall from Bridgeport for Tuesday night’s game against the Senators at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum. Ho-Sang was not in the lineup on Tuesday night. Dal Colle was slotted to play with Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier.
Ho-Sang, a playmaking right wing with superior skating ability, has six goals and 30 assists in 44 games with the Sound Tigers and had a goal and an assist in 10 games for the Islanders, marking the third straight season he’s split time between the two.
Ho-Sang, who has frustrated Islanders’ management at times with comments and discipline issues, is an impending restricted free agent but said he was not nervous around the NHL trade deadline.
“Not really,” Ho-Sang said. “I’m happy here. I had no concerns. I heard stuff from multiple close family sources and people were asking me questions and I didn’t have answers. I don’t think anyone has answers around that time. For me, I was just kind of waiting.”
There are no guarantees Ho-Sang will secure his coveted NHL spot this time around. But the Islanders, struggling for goals, could use his dynamic offensive play on a consistent basis.
“I think everyone in the hockey world has seen flashes of that,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s just being consistent day in and day out. He’s got a great skill set. How you use that skill set and produce with that skill set is going to determine if you’re a full-time or part-time NHL player. If you don’t use your talent correctly, then your talent is useless.”