Last week Lou Lamoriello told Newsday’s Andrew Gross that two of the three key restricted free agents had already agreed to deals. Come collect your prize if you guessed that they were Michael Dal Colle and Joshua Ho-Sang. (Anthony Beauvillier remains without a deal.)
The 2019-20 season will be big years for both players, whose stocks have ebbed and flowed since both were selected in the first round of the 2014 draft. Dal Colle was the higher pick, fifth overall, but took a much longer time to see the NHL than most of the peers selected around him at the top of that draft.
Ho-Sang’s skill set was never in doubt, though various questions around “coachability” saw him selected near the end of the first round. Still, that skill earned him earlier callups, with 21 NHL games in 2016-17, 20 more in the following season, but only 10 last year.
So Ho-Sang has more NHL games (53) and points (24) on his resume, but Dal Colle’s stock (32 NHL games, 7 points) was on the rise last season after finally getting extended time with the Islanders and proving he can be a reliable winger in Barry Trotz’s system.
For Ho-Sang, a big training camp looms to prove he can do the same. He is no longer waiver-exempt, so an assignment to Bridgeport would require passing through waivers.