New York Islanders 2014 first round draft pick Joshua Ho-Sang returned to his roots this week to provide some on-ice inspiration and motivation to the Skillz Black Aces, a youth hockey team that he played for over four summers.
Ho-Sang, a high-scoring forward for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, has called playing for Coach Cyril Bollers’ predominantly-minority squad “probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life.”
Skillz is increasingly becoming a stepping stone to the National Hockey League Draft. Ho-Sang, the 28th overall pick, Barrie Colts forward Brendan Lemieux, a 2014 second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, Portland Winterhawks forward Keegan Iverson, the New York Rangers third-round selection, and Owen Sound Attack forward Jaden Lindo, a fourth-round choice of the Pittsburgh Penguins, are all alums of Skillz summer hockey teams.
So are Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse, the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 first-round pick; Kitchener Rangers forward Justin Bailey, a Buffalo Sabres second-round pick; forward Stephen Harper of the Erie Otters; and Bellville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban, the Vancouver Canucks’ fourth-round pick and the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban.