Where there was smoke, now fire.
Joshua Ho-Sang has been traded by his junior team, the Windsor Spitfires, to the Niagara IceDogs.
A few weeks ago there were rumblings that the Spitfires had begun gauging interest in Ho-Sang, who is off to another tremendous start in the OHL. A report out of Windsor provides details, and a look into the world of junior hockey horse trading:
It is believed the Spitfires were waiting for Ho-Sang to waive his no-trade clause and sign off on a deal for forward Hayden McCool and three second-round draft picks.
The Islanders' second first-round draft pick (28th overall) from last summer was leading the Spitfires in scoring, but they are in last place in the Western Conference 17 games into the season. Niagara is only 5-13, but within reach of moving up in the Eastern Conference's Central Division.
So, a trade like this is not to be interpreted as some bad sign regarding his development: Weaker OHL teams trade top players like this fairly often, hoping to restock and rebuild. John Tavares was traded by Oshawa to London toward the end of his draft season.
Ho-Sang is signed to an entry level contract with the Isles but likely won't be playing pro hockey on that contract for another couple of years.
He is on the Canada roster for Monday's Super Series game against Russia. He is also technically a candidate for the World Junior Championship squad, although there is a bit of bad-blood history there.