Joshua Ho-Sang won't be the biggest player on his future NHL squad, but his crafty puck-handling skills and offensive instincts earned him the No. 17 spot on the International Scouting Services top prospects list.
The 5-foot-11 native of Thornhill, Ont. just completed his second season with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. During the 2013-14 regular season, Ho-Sang recorded 32 goals and 53 assists in 67 games - pretty impressive offensive numbers for a prospect widely considered to be a top-20 pick in this year's draft.
Many of Ho-Sang's goals were scored no further away than the face-off circles. The winger showed a knack for being in the right place at the right time and for scoring big goals at key moments in games.
Hockey is no longer a game reserved for the hulking, physically-intimidating players; Ho-Sang's size is by no means a hindrance and you only need to watch him once to understand that. He's shifty in tight spaces, able to make plays under duress and is very good at protecting the puck.
The emergence of Ho-Sang into another Windsor scoring threat (especially after the in-season trade of Kerby Rychel to Guelph) was huge for the Spitfires, who accumulated 77 points on the season and were swept in the first round by the Memorial Cup host London Knights. Ho-Sang netted a goal and delivered two assists in the four-game series.
If he's selected by the Blue Jackets, what can Columbus fans expect from Ho-Sang? In short: tons of offense and an unrelenting will to score goals. He can score the flashy goals, the hard-working "greasy goals" and find the back of the net at just the right time.
While Ho-Sang's quick hands are appealing, scouts at Elite Prospects flagged Ho-Sang's defensive game as an area of improvement.
Elite Prospects scout Tyler Parchem on Ho-Sang:
"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 year's draft."