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New York Islanders Top 25 Under 25: #66 Joshua Ho-Sang at #8

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The forward had a big playoff in the OHL, but we'll know much more once he starts adjusting to pro competition.

At least let him make it long enough to wear that number.
At least let him make it long enough to wear that number.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We've written and shared more about Joshua Ho-Sang than any amateur Isles prospect this side of...Kirill Kabanov? The history, the eclectic background, the controversial rep are all well known. The pledge to make all of that sound like some such Canadian columnist griping is likewise well known.

So I'll just let the rest of the panel discuss why they ranked him at various spots in the top 10 of our Spring 2016 Top 25 Islanders Under 25.

How We Voted (and a Little Why)

King (CIL) Keith Mike B. McNally Garik Dominik Leboff Les
8
9
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9 9
7 5
8

David King (CanadianIslesLifer):

The number one question with Ho-sang, is whether or not he'll be able to score enough at the NHL level to hold down a top nine or top 12 job.

There are of course, other questions. Ho-sang has been a dominate driver of possession and an elite play maker in the OHL for the past three seasons. Can he do this against men who also happen to be the best hockey players in the world?

Ho-sang has NHL foot speed, but can he think and move the puck at NHL speed? At 6'0, 170 pounds, how will he stand up to NHL checking?

Like most top prospects, Ho-sang was used to dominating at the junior level, and therefore, is used to playing with the puck. At the NHL level, Ho-sang will be playing against the greatest players in the world, and therefore will have the puck a lot less. How will Ho-sang play at the NHL level without the puck?

When all is said and done, Ho-Sang could pan out as a 1st liner, a middle 6er, a 4th liner or bust.

Keith:

Looks like he put his team on his back in the playoffs. We've heard nothing but good things since the alarm clock shaming.

Mike B.:

The kid can play. How much of his well-worn "difficult" rep is accurate? He's at the point where he needs to be teachable as well as talented.

McNally:

I wish I was as enthusiastic about Ho-Sang as everyone else. He has a ton of talent and managed to be consistent with his point totals throughout juniors. But his 32 goal season seems to be an anomaly, as he didn't top 20 goals in any other season in the OHL.

If Ho-Sang isn't consistently scoring goals in the pros, then he is going to need to find other things to excel at to be effective. And if he can do that or not will be the question going forward.

Garik16:

We all love Ho-Sang in theory, but the numbers he's put up in his D+1 and D+2 seasons have been disappointing relative to his peers. He's just not improved enough, even if he has flashy highlights. The emotional issues will get the spotlight in the media, but the problem is productivity, not attitude.

Basically the worry is he's another Kirill Kabanov, whose inability to score was the real problem. He'll get a shot at the AHL next year, but being an NHL player is very much a question for JHS - that's why I have him well below the other 3 big Isles prospects and below even Alan Quine, who at least looks like an NHLer.

Leboff:

I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry.

Les (HockeyGoalieEh):

Anybody that's seen Joshua Ho-Sang's footage knows what he's capable of. He's incredibly talented and should be a great assist guy at the N.H.L. level. While it isn't likely that he'll be lighting up the goal column, his assist numbers are steady and the Islanders could use his setup ability and should look to bump him up next season.

Previously in the Top 25 Under 25