PHILADELPHIA — Joshua Ho-Sang has something to prove and he was appreciative to the Islanders for taking the gamble of drafting him Friday night.
“I think I have 26 teams to show that they missed out,” Ho-Sang said after being selected by the Islanders. “And I definitely have to show the Islanders that they were right.”
The 18-year-old Windsor Spitfires forward was all smiles when he met the media after being selected 28th overall after the Islander traded back into the first round to draft him. The Islanders swapped their 35th and 57th picks to Tampa Bay to be able to select Ho-Sang.
“The fact that they traded two seconds away to pick me it just shows that they believe in me,” he said. “That’s all I really need, a team behind me that believes in me and I’ll give them everything I have and I’ll push until I can’t breathe”
Ho-Sang has constantly been labeled as the wild card of this years draft because of “character issues” that have hindered his draft stock. It was reported that those issues had kept a lot of teams from showing interest in the highly skilled forward. However, the Islanders were not turned away by what they saw from him.
The Islanders had two meetings with Ho-Sang prior to the draft to get to know him.
“They talked to me about me,” Ho-Sang said when asked about what was discussed during the meetings. “When they took the time to kind of get to know me, I knew that the Islanders were definitely a team that would be interested because they understand that I’m really not that different. I’m just a little more outspoken.”
His outspokenness is what makes separate him from the average hockey player. It’s what make him different in a sport that wants everyone to be the same.
“I see the world a little bit different. I think I’m outspoken and a little bit more opinionated than most people like,” Ho-Sang said. “I think that’s just part of growing up, and learning areas where I can and can’t be, and I’m just working on that moving forward.”
But it is not something that concerns the Islanders. “We get the players that we feel can help us win a championship and we don’t give a Sh** what anyone else thinks,” Islanders General manager Garth Snow said. “Except our fans of course.”
Snow’s staunch defense of the selection was something that Ho-Sang appreciated and was going to help him strive even more to become the best player he can be.
“You want to be with people who believe in you and who think you can do great things,” he said. “Because that’s how you get there. You need to be pushed and with all that it helps you want to be better for them. And it helps you want to give them everything you have cause you know it’s not just about you. It’s about your family and the Islanders after today have become my family.”
Cocky attitudes don't really bother me imo. This to me sounds like a guy that loves to play hockey and has a passion for the sport, he doesn't want to lose. This was a ballsy pick by Snow, and I think it's gonna pay off. Ho-Sang is extremely skilled guys... Last yr he was predicted to be a top 5 pick.