Josh Ho-Sang didn’t last long during New York Islanders training camp last September. On Day 1, the second of their two 2014 first-round selections was late, prompting GM Garth Snow to send him home.
Of course, before Ho-Sang was officially dismissed the team made him run the stairs at Nassau Coliseum for a couple of hours.
Nine months later, Ho-Sang is back on Long Island for the team’s prospect development camp following a solid season with Niagara of the OHL where he posted 19 goals and 82 points in 66 games, helping the Ice Dogs reach the league final.
Despite his very public exit from camp, there was no sit-down with Snow during the year to discuss what happened.
“They don’t really have to talk to me,” he said. “They sent the message pretty clear last year.”
Ho-Sang told reporters on Tuesday that the embarrassing demotion made him stronger mentally and put two important choices in front of him: shut down or get better. “I decided to keep pushing and put my head down and find my way back here and move on from there,” he said.
Now 20, the experience, Ho-Sang says, has changed him for the better.
“Part of me has shaken it off and part of me hasn’t. I never really forget it,” Ho-Sang said. “Every time, I wake up in the morning a little scared. That’s the way it is. But I’m aware of it now. It’s definitely been for the benefit of my career. In a lot of ways I’m very grateful that I got sent back because I learned a lot and I changed a lot of my lesser habits that other people may not be aware of, but things that I’m really happy that I changed. I feel like more of a professional now than I’ve ever been.”
Ho-Sang has said all the right things since September, and now the Islanders wait and see if those changes he made off the ice will aid in his development toward being a true professional.
– – – – – – –