NY ISLANDERS DRAFT SERIES: The Curious Case of Josh Ho-Sang

imageThe curious case of Joshua Ho-Sang

First the NY islanders took an unpredictable turn actually taking a predictable choice at number 5, with the offensively gifted and highly regarded Michael Dal Colle. More on that later.

However, then they swept back into the top of the first round to collect what might be the most divisive name to hockey scouts and debate between traditional hockey and new hockey analytics: Josh Ho-Sang.

Make no mistake about it, the Islanders are one of the new school. Hockey traditionalists have been pointing to the NY Islanders scouting and prospect choices for quite a while, yet they keep churning out NHL talent as a high rate. How high? No other team has as many prospects playing as many NHL games from 2008 to 2012 than the NY Islanders. Take the first round out of the equation, you say? Sure. The NY Islanders still own that from just their 2nd to 7th round picks.

However… Nothing schisms the traditional crowd vs the new school as this pick by the NY Islanders. Add to it, the Islanders internally are beginning to get annoyed by the media outlets who have been behind the curve, and despite the playoff setback last season, have not gotten much respect even before that for many of these items.

So I was unsurprised to see Garth drop a bomb or two on TV and the media scrums. This has been bubbling for a while, and they are chomping at the bit for their prospect pool to start to shit….errrr….shut the naysayers up. The problem is the on ice product still needs developed/vets to shore up weaknesses… But again… That’s another story.

Many scouts actually discussed and believed that the NY Islanders would select Ho-Sang, and when they did, select him far too early. Just maybe they are right. If we listen to this crowd, the criticism is very sharp.

They say that Ho-Sang is not someone who will buy-in. He suffers from always looking for the perfect play or to do things himself. That he will be a distraction. A possible AHL or Europe player, too small and too uncoachable. Too many red flags. He doesn’t think the way hockey players should.

Yet, even his detractors admit his amazing skill, speed, hands, and ability with the puck. He is considered exceptional. A speed guy with the rare ability to also he able to slow the play down. He is also fiery and an agitator, usually in the middle of things. Many think his hands might be best in the draft. However, so is his baggage, at least to those traditional teams. But, is he such a red flag because he has a “different” type of personality?

Yet, here come the NY Islanders, making sure he did not drop even into the 2nd round. To some I spoke to, they thought that he would perhaps even fall farther. Yet, it seemed the Islanders were making very sure they got their man. For those so concerned on personality and the mental aspects, one item that is not debatable is the Isles onus on character, mental aspects, personality, besides a myriad of analytics. So the fact they were so quick and committed to grab him speaks volumes on this debate.

Ultimately, this will only be answered as he develops. He is young, raw, and immensely talented, and must gain size and maturity. He needs at least 3 to 4 years of development, and despite the debate! the Isles feel they got a surefire top 6 forward.

If you add up the round, the NY Islanders got TWO offensive dynamos. In Dal Colle, they get a more talented Josh Bailey who might be more surefire for the top 6. In Ho-Sang, they get a top two line or bust player who might who they feel might be the better version of Grabner.

In fact, if I was Josh Bailey or Grabner, I might be looking over my shoulder very soon as the team seems to covet the attributes but looking for more upside than both of these players. That kind of writing on the wall can’t really be missed.



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About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.

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  1. Mike says:

    If it works out great, they got a great talent. Unfortunately all to often for the Islanders these antiestablishment moves have not worked out. What ever happened to Kirill Kabanov??

  2. Tony says:

    Damit B.D. we cant take any more “waiting to develop” anymore. We need to get 2 or three solid veterens to get into the playoffs. Enough is enough. What is wrong with Snow. (Answer: Charles Wang) John Taveras will be collecting social security (Oh sorry he’s Canadian and can’t collect it.) by the time sign or trade for quality vets to get into the playoff’s.

    To me this is exactly like the Krill Kabanov gamble. This is typical Garth, who thinks he knows more that every other GM in hockey. This is a great pick if he still manages to trade for a top 4 defenseman, veteran winger and sign a sold back-up goalie. However, he seems to be doing the same crap as always, adding prospects, and he will now have to rely on FA’s once again and will lose out on the high quality FA’s and settle for the leftover grunts once again.

  3. Tony says:

    Yes, they got great talent. We may all be in an old age home by the time it matures.

  4. Tony says:

    One more thing. If these picks backfire and no veteran players are signed or traded for, the media and fans will put the hammer down on Garth big time, as he fired a salvo at them (specifically the media) when interviewed by TSN last night.

  5. DinBidD says:

    Cannot understand how fans can support Snow any longer.I agree 100% w/ above posts.Goaltending in the minors is desperately lacking so w/ that void Garth drafts 2 goalies ranked further down the board than what was available. He always seems to think he is smarter than the rest of the league. So far he has nothing to show for it. These 2 1st rounders he drafted may be solid productive players but not for this upcoming season. The inability for him to create a viable trade is failure on his part & speaks volumes of what other GMs think of the so called talent on this team. This guy also has a fetish w/ tiny defensemen. How many more small guys is he going to draft before he realizes its not working. The only way he saves face is by FA & we all know how successful Garth is w/ that but hey you never know Vanek could divorce his wife & sign w/ Isles.

  6. Chris Martin says:

    another fine essay from Garth Snow’s personal propagandist

    These facts are indisputable
    1. Wang is an absentee landlord. He knows nothing about hockey and delegates too much to others who know equally as little or less.
    2. Snow is an incompetent boob who can’t trade, can’t sign FAs and can’t find any gems on the waiver wire. The only reason his draft picks are any good is that the players don’t have a choice.
    3. Cappy is an amateur whose legacy will be to let up an average of 290 goals per year. And this guy was a denfenseman.
    The fan base is by-and-large- far too forgiving with this bunch. As a by-product of this, they spend more time rooting against our rivals, and therefore forget the culprits named above.
    Mark my words, players who suck….Colin Mcdonald -22, Matt Martin -5 goals Josh bailey -8 goals, brian strait, matt Carkner, michael Grabner, etc, etc and others like them will dress every night while other players who deserve a chance to play will be either assigned to bridgeport or the press box.
    Conclusion, a new arena, filled with amateurs and incompetents and underachievers will produce the same results.