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Joshua Ho-Sang hopes to stay with Islanders all season

Right wing at development camp after strong 21-game run in New York to end 2016-17

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang's eyes lit up Tuesday when he was asked about the recent acquisition of right wing Jordan Eberle. 

Ho-Sang, 21, was extremely excited not only for what Eberle is expected to bring to the Islanders, but also because he and Eberle each is a right-handed shot. Eberle was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Islanders for forward Ryan Strome last Thursday.

"I think he's a top right winger in the NHL," Ho-Sang said after the Islanders opened their annual development camp. "Just to be able to learn from him and see what works, what doesn't, it's nice having someone who's the same handedness as you. You can really talk to them. They know exactly what works because they're right-handed versus being a lefty, it's like, you've got different things. Just being able to talk to him and figuring out what he does and what he thinks I can do better and picking his brain, just talking in general, it's going to be lots of fun." 

A first-round pick (No. 28) at the 2014 NHL Draft, Ho-Sang spent the first five months of this season with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League before making his NHL debut on March 2. He had four goals and six assists in 21 games for the Islanders, nearly helping them qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs after being at or near bottom of the Eastern Conference standings for much of the first half of the season.

Video: NYI@BUF: Ho-Sang finishes break with outstanding move

"It was awesome," Ho-Sang said. "I was just happy to get the experience. Just to throw on that jersey for real, not in preseason, so for me it was a really cool experience. I'm very happy that I got the opportunity to play and see what it's all about. I just want to play 82 games now."

Islanders coach Doug Weight was pleased with Ho-Sang's first taste of the NHL. He's hoping it carries over into training camp in September.

"Josh was great," Weight said. "We were getting feedback from [Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson] about his attitude down there, and he was playing hard, learning the system and played with some passion. I think he showed that when he came up. He easily could have had better numbers than he had. He created a lot of opportunities in games that he was snakebit or the puck wasn't going in. Ten points in 21 games, but he could have done a lot better than that, and I think his game was good. He had some blips, and he responded well, and I think that's a key for a young guy, and especially Josh. 

"You see him out there, he's a dynamic talent. He wants to get better. We have to continue to work Josh and push him in all facets on and off the ice."

Video: NYI@CAR: Ho-Sang collects blocked shot, buries PPG

Despite his solid play late in the season, Ho-Sang said he realizes an NHL roster spot won't simply be handed to him next season. He knows he has to put in the work. 

"For me, I just want to help out in any way I can," Ho-Sang said. "It's not necessarily what I can bring to the table, it's the end goal, which is making the playoffs. Unfortunately, we didn't do that last year. If I can do anything to help, and they see that I have assets that may help them, then I'd love to be on board. But it's still a long summer and there's a lot of moves that they can make. 

"I want to come in as strong and fast as possible and kind of not make it a decision for them, just, you know, 'Josh is ready.'"

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