Joshua Ho-Sang failed to crack the New York Islanders opening-night roster for a second consecutive season, so earlier this week, the 2014 first-round pick was placed on waivers and sent down to the AHL.
Ho-Sang, along with Tanner Fritz and 449-game NHL vet Thomas Hickey, cleared waivers Monday and were set to join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. However, Ho-Sang didn’t show up for his first practice, making his immediate future with the team unclear.
Bridgeport head coach Brent Thompson said, “I really don’t know,” when asked if Ho-Sang would eventually report to the team.
“As far as I know right now, it’s a couple of days just to collect himself and go from there,” Thompson added via Sound Tigers reporter Brian Heyman.
General manager Lou Lamoriello explained Thursday that Ho-Sang’s representation has asked for a trade, so the team “told him not to report for a few days while we worked on that.”
“He came in and did everything that you could ask of a player to try and win a spot,” Lamoriello said of Ho-Sang after roster cuts. “In my opinion, he was given every opportunity and it just did not work out and you have to make a decision.”
The 23-year-old forward has always had trouble staying at the NHL level after five years as a junior star in the Ontario Hockey League.
“Obviously a very skilled good player and a misunderstood smart young guy,” Hickey said of his teammate. “Whether it’s here or somewhere else, I wish him the best. Hopefully it’s here. It would be good to have him back.”
Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, who mentioned he’s thankful the three players mentioned above went unclaimed, thought this was Ho-Sang’s best camp to date.
“The reason being he was consistent,” Trotz said. “His attention to detail was much better. It was a real tough decision on that organizationally. He’s made strides. Every time he gets an opportunity at training camp or in the regular season, he’s closer and closer.”
Ho-Sang has registered seven goals and 17 assists in 53 career regular-season NHL games.