2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #23 - Josh Ho-Sang
Up next is skilled Canadian forward Josh Ho-Sang.
Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Date of Birth: January 22, 1996
Place of Birth: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Height/Weight: 5'11" / 165 lbs
Coming out of Windsor, Ho-Sang is ranked 22nd among North American skaters. He's lauded for his skill and great hands. He steps his game up under pressure and has performed well at all levels and in post-season play. His rankings remain a bit all over the board, but he's been considered–at times–as high as a top 10 pick. With his natural ability, a team picking later in the first round may get an absolute steal.
Ho-Sang's been at the center of a fierce debate after receiving a 15-game suspension (Update: reduced to six games) for a "hit" on Zach Bell of the London Knights. Quite frankly, I believe it's a ridiculous over reaction and don't intend to give it further thought. I'd have no hesitation drafting Ho-Sang if I were in the position to do so.
EliteProspects.com: "Ho-Sang is a small but skilled forward with some incredible hands. He's shown impressive skating ability and agility with the puck on his stick. He's a crafty player that has the excitement factor in his favor. He can rely too heavily on himself at times, but has great offensive instincts and pounces on chances."
Tyler Parchem, EliteProspects: "Ho-Sang often turns heads with his ability to handle the puck with ease in the offensive zone. He has speed and great offensive instincts but needs to work on his game outside of the offensive zone. He has the ability to explode offensively this season and has the potential to be a top ten pick in next years draft."
Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News: "Ho-Sang may be the most divisive player in this year's draft class. His offensive skill set is unquestioned, but some have worried about his judgement on the ice. For what it's worth, NHL scouts that I have talked to seem very excited about the youngster and didn't seem concerned about his attitude."
Good fit for the Blue Jackets?
Ho-Sang might be a bit of a reach at 16–though as noted before, with his skill he could easily end up being a late-round steal. Of interest, as evidenced in the highlights below, he had great chemistry with Blue Jackets prospect Kerby Rychel when both played for Windsor. Although you can't predict that kind of success in the NHL, I would have to think the work ethic and character of Rychel would rub off on Ho-Sang at the pro level.
Like Rychel last year, Ho-Sang would need to work on rounding out his game to be a breakout performer. Especially to make the roster on a team like Columbus. Still, there's no question that high-end skill on the wing is most certainly an area of need. He could be an ideal draft candidate if the Blue Jackets were to make a trade to slide back in the draft order and pick up extra draft choices in later rounds, though I can already imagine nervous comparisons to Marian Gaborik.