Prospect Ho-Sang's Skills Enough to Excel in the NHL
Ontario forward led Windsor Spitfires this season in goals, assists
ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 27-28. Josh Ho-Sang is the No. 22-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings.
Josh Ho-Sang is NHL Central Scouting’s No. 22-ranked North American skater, but if the rankings were strictly based on puck skills he would be closer to the top.
Ho-Sang, the son of Jamaican and Jewish parents, is known for his playmaking and his knack for dangling, unfurling some pretty shootout goals and his precision passing.
He started to earn that reputation at the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Cup in August 2011 with a highlight-worthy shootout goal that was so good it impressed his coach at the event, current Ottawa Senator center Jason Spezza.
"For that moment in time I had one of the best players in the NHL in awe, and that's something I'll never forget," Ho-Sang told NHL.com.
A 5-foot-11, 175-pound, right-shot forward, Ho-Sang spent the past two seasons with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, after he was the club’s first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2012 OHL draft.
He tallied 44 points (14 goals and 30 assists) in 63 games in the 2012-13 season before nearly doubling his point total this season, as he racked up 85 points in 67 games for the Spitfires. His 32 goals this season tied for the Windsor lead, and his 53 assists led the team by a large margin.
Ho-Sang flourished on the large stage again this season when he displayed his playmaking ability at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in early January. He scored a goal early in the game before setting up Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie) on the game-winning goal.
“All the credit goes to Josh on that goal,” McCann said to NHL.com after the game. “He made an unbelievable pass and I just tried to get it to the net."
“He’s got a dynamic game with the puck and is capable of making the plays at top speed,” said NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr. “He offers very good puck control and playmaking ability through traffic.”
Ho-Sang, a Thornhill, Ontario native, can improve in a few areas like all young prospects. His defense and decision making both have come under scrutiny through the pre-draft process.
“He just needs to control his temper,” Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards said to NHL.com. “He has the tendency to take undisciplined penalties.”
"I like to play a patient, dynamic, explosive game," Ho-Sang said. "I'm always trying to be precise with my passing, and I take pride in everything when it comes to the offensive side of my game. My defensive side is something I really have been working on this year, trying to find that happy place."
"I know what people have been saying about me—'He does too much'—but I want to find that very aggressive medium … I have the drive to be the best every day."