Joshua Ho-Sang, one of two 2014 first-round draft picks by the New York Islanders, is featured in the latest "Next Ones" video produced by the CHL.
Interviews with his parents, his coaches and with Ho-Sang himself paint a flattering picture of his character and his game, as one would expect from such a production. But their insights do address some of the mistakes and misconceptions about the player who has had battles with Hockey Canada and was sent home early from his first full NHL camp due to being late.
It seems Ho-Sang can never be discussed without separate camps forming on the merits of his game and how much -- and how accurately -- his "character" affects it and vice versa. He is frank and introspective, and that has put him under a ridiculous microscope, which ironically only makes us examine him all the more.
But increasingly he looks like a good hockey talent who, if he makes it to the NHL level, will sincerely want to use the platform to contribute to humanity.
A few excerpts from the video, which can be viewed on the CHL site here:
On Reputation in Media, Getting to Know Him
Billy Burke, assistant coach, Niagara Ice Dogs:
"Once I got to meet him and see him in the community and see him with the younger kids, some of the things being said about him really put him in an unfair light."
Marty Williamson, head coach:
"I laugh at some of the comments out there about him, because after being with him for a year and a half I see that they don't fit. He doesn't want to be controversial. He just speaks his mind sometimes. He's a good kid. ...
"He's one of the guys who volunteers the most. He loves talking to the young kids, and we get great feedback from the teachers on how honest and open he is."
"He needs to find a balance, and find someone who really believes in him."
On the 'Arrogance' or 'Selfishness' in His Game
Ryan Ludzik, goaltending coach:
"There's a difference between arrogance and confidence. He's a confident kid. Sometimes his words are misconstrued."
"He's not a selfish person. If you watch him play, he's pass-first all the time."
Williamson, head coach:
"Where the 'selfish' comes in, if it ever does, is that he hangs on to the puck for a long time. What Josh wants to do is wants to make the perfect pass all the time."
On Being Late, Sent Home Early from Islanders Training Camp
"They're kids, they make mistakes. Discipline isn't always punishment, sometimes discipline is learning. I think that's the message the Islanders were trying to send to him."
"You have to allow them to make their mistakes for them to grow up."
There is plenty more in the video, from those coaches as well as more insight from his father, mother and from Ho-Sang himself.
The team personnel and Ho-Sang discuss some of his community efforts, including his trip to Jamaica -- where his father is from -- to build homes and assists schools through Helping Hands for Jamaica. You can tell Ho-Sang is proud of his work and its impact there -- but also of the impact it had when he returned home: "When I got back, I had like five guys ask if they could come along and help next time."