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Islanders trade up to draft outspoken Ho-Sang

by Mike G. Morreale

PHILADELPHIA -- Joshua Ho-Sang of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League might be the most outspoken of any of the top prospects eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

That didn't discourage New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow from trading his two second-round picks (No. 35 and No. 57) to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for the No. 28 pick and the opportunity to choose Ho-Sang.

"A lot of people question why I'm so outspoken and question my confidence," Ho-Sang said. "Hockey is definitely one of those sports where quiet confidence is encouraged as opposed to the other sports like the NFL or NBA where it's a little bit louder.

"People that speak their mind are people who change the world and can change hockey. Look at guys like P.K. Subban and Patrick Kane, and even Ryan Getzlaf. I'm willing to do whatever the Islanders ask, and if they want me to clean stuff up I'll do it because I just want to play in the NHL."

Born in Toronto and now living in Thornhill, Ontario, Ho-Sang has a Jamaican father, a Chilean mother, and a Chinese-born great-grandfather. No. 22 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters, Ho-Sang finished tied for the team lead in goals (32) and was tops in assists (53) and points (85) in 67 regular season games. He also had a plus-26 rating and scored eight power-play goals. He also was strong in shootouts, scoring two goals on three attempts.

The multiple moves to the net are nothing new to Ho-Sang, who at a young age began watching video of one of the most dynamic puck-carrying forwards to play in the NHL, Denis Savard. Former Chicago Blackhawks right wing Steve Larmer was the one who told Ho-Sang about his former teammate.

"I'm friends with Larmer's son and he was playing on my summer hockey team and I remember doing something and Steve coming over to me and telling me that I reminded him of Denis Savard," Ho-Sang said. "I had no idea who Denis Savard was. He told me to go home and watch video of him."

The rest is history.

Ho-Sang was asked if playing alongside Islanders captain John Tavares is something he envisions down the future.

"I like the idea of playing with Michael Dal Colle right now," Ho-Sang said with a grin.

Dal Colle, of the Oshawa Generals, was the Islanders' first pick of the first round (No. 5).

"He's an amazing talent and he went right where he should have gone," Ho-Sang said. "I've known Mikey for a long time and I'm just happy to be on the same team as him."


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