Player: Josh Ho-Sang
Drafted By: New York Islanders (28th overall)
Position: Right Wing/Center
Final Central Scouting Ranking: No. 22 North American skater
Height/Weight: 5'11", 160 lbs
DOB: January 22, 1996 (18 years old)
Most Recent Affiliation: OHL, Windsor Spitfires
Josh Ho-Sang is a highly skilled offensive player who can fill up the net. Ho-Sang is coming off an explosive season with the Windsor Spitfires in which he scored 32 goals and 85 points and demonstrated that he could play his best hockey when the game was on the line. While some claim he is a "me-first" type player with questionable body language, Windsor was not afraid to use him in end-of-game situations when the Spitfires were protecting a lead.
Full Scouting Report
Ho-Sang has excellent offensive instincts that allow him to make eye-catching plays when he has the puck in the opponent's zone. Ho-Sang has plenty of speed, and when he has the puck on the boards, he likes to make a quick cut to the middle so he can unleash his shot from a good scoring angle or split the defense.
Ho-Sang is on the small side, and he will need to bulk up before he can play the game at the NHL level. At this point, he would have a hard time stopping opponents because he would have a difficult time going into the corners and winning the battle.
Ho-Sang will also have to overcome a reputation of being somewhat of a selfish player. Many of his teammates have defended him on this issue, but his body language has been an issue.
NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards likes the explosiveness that Ho-Sang brings. "He handles the puck very well at top speed and sees the ice well," Edwards said (h/t NHL.com). "His skating is excellent and his first step is explosive. He cuts to the middle often and can split the defense with surprising speed.”
NHL Player Comparison
Take a look at Nazem Kadri because he is quite similar to Ho-Sang. Kadri is a very highly skilled player who has shown he can score, but he is not always consistent and his demeanor in the locker room has not always been favorable.
However, there is no doubting Kadri's individual talent, and Ho-Sang could match him in creativity with the puck and quickness.
Ho-Sang still has quite a bit of work to do before he reaches the NHL. He looks like he needs to return to junior hockey for one more year and then possibly have a season in the minors before he gets to the NHL. Look for Ho-Sang to put on an NHL uniform in the 2016-17 season.
If Ho-Sang works on every aspect of his game, he could be quite an all-around player. In addition to his offensive talents, he has the skill to kill penalties and the desire to be on the ice in the most important minutes of every game. If he can correct his body language in the next couple of years, there's no reason Ho-Sang won't become a dependable top-six forward.