The Josh Ho-Sang era on Long Island is coming to an end — it’s just that no one is sure when it will happen.
The enigmatic young forward, who failed to make the New York Islanders NHL roster out of camp for a fifth-straight season, demanded a trade, general manager Lou Lamoriello told the media on Thursday.
After clearing waivers, the 23-year-old was sent to the organization’s AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, CT, but failed to report before his trade request became public.
The Islanders’ decision to put the winger on waivers was likely the final straw in the relationship between prospect and team, as Ho-Sang has suggested his frustration with the organization.
“I don’t know. I think that’s up for me to kind of create and then [for management] to give me the chance,” Ho-Sang said at media day back in September when asked about his chances of making the team. “I think it’s both. And I take responsibility for what I can control. They can do whatever they want.”
Once believed to be a top-10 talent with the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League, Ho-Sang’s maturity concerns saw him drop toward the end of the first round where the Islanders took him 28th-overall.
Despite his high ceiling and inarguable skill set, Ho-Sang has been unable to break into the NHL regularly. He played just 53 games over three seasons with the Islanders, recording seven goals and 17 assists.
Ho-Sang’s trade request does raise some concerns. The first question that naturally arises is if no one claimed him off waivers, why would a team try and trade for him?
Despite the lack of action earlier this week, there could be teams out there that are plenty interested in Ho-Sang. The problem comes from the rules of the waiver wire.
If he was claimed off waivers, Ho-Sang had to report and remain on the team’s NHL roster.
Executing a trade for the young winger would allow the interested party to give him a chance in the minors before taking that next course of action.
The roadblock for any interested parties, however, will be Lamoriello.
Given Ho-Sang’s inability to stick in the NHL and perceived attitude issues, opposing general managers won’t be looking to part with too much to pick him up.
Lamoriello, however, could point to Ho-Sang’s untapped potential in an attempt to sweeten the pot.
However, Ho-Sang won’t get much more than draft capital at this point unless he was a piece in a larger deal.
That doesn’t seem likely with the opening puck drop on New York’s 2019-20 season just hours away.