Look out Brooklyn, here comes Joshua Ho-Sang.
With several National Hockey League teams reluctant to pull the trigger and use a first-round draft pick to take the flashy, high-scoring Windsor Spitfires forward, the New York Islanders eagerly snapped up the 18-year-old Ho-Sang Friday night with the 28th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. In fact, the Islanders made a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning to get back into the first round to get Ho-Sang.
A relieved-looking Ho-Sang walked onto the stage inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, pulled on an Islanders jersey and happily tugged on a team cap.
“It’s just such an opportunity and a moment I’ll cherish forever,” he told TSN.
Many general managers were down on Ho-Sang, despite the 32 goals and 52 assists in 67 games for the Ontario Hockey League Spitfires last season. They viewed Ho-Sang as an individualistic, one-dimensional offensive machine who’s more of an electrifying highlight reel entertainer than a hockey player. They were concerned that he could not – or would not – conform his game to fit their teams.
Some comments he made in pre-draft interviews this week also didn’t endear him some in the hockey establishment. Some NHL team were quoted as saying Ho-Sang was on their Do Not Draft lists.
“All I was saying was that I truly believe in myself and I think if you ask any player in the draft, they do, too,” Ho-Sang said.