Joshua Ho-Sang Looking To Make His Name Known In Islanders Camp

Some numbers are immortal.

In baseball, No. 42 is retired throughout baseball for the difficult task Jackie Robinson endured when he integrated baseball back in 1947.

And No. 99 is retired throughout hockey, not for the tough time Wayne Gretzky went through, but his greatness elevated hockey from a niche sport to something more mainstream.

Like Gretzky, Mario Lemieux’s greatness is still revered throughout the sport. However his No. 66 is still up for grabs on any team besides the Pittsburgh Penguins, where it is raised to the rafters.

However, not many players wear No. 66 even to honor Lemieux, but Islanders’ rookie Joshua Ho-Sang is adorning The Magnificent One’s digits.

“My favorite sport is soccer and everyone in soccer wears No. 10 for Pele,” Ho-Sang said. “To me it is a tribute to an amazing player. I don’t think I’m going to be like him, but he’s a highly skilled guy and he always been an inspiration for me. It’s nothing disrespectful. To me it’s to honor him.”

It’s nice to see a young player respect the history of the game. The 28th overall pick in the 2014 draft was considered a bit of a head case and immature and the reason why he dropped so low in the draft, even though he had tremendous offensive skills.

We even saw that last year. He was invited to camp, but was late for the first day of camp and the Isles sent him back to the OHL immediately as punishment.

But if his head is screwed on right, Ho-Sang has the skills to become a star in the league. He has explosive speed and is a good puck handler.  In tonight’s Islanders 3-0 preseason win over the Flyers, we saw those skills in action, as the forward scored his team’s second goal.

“It felt really good,” Ho-Sang said. “I got a great pass from (Matthew) Barzal. I don’t know how he got that to me. It was unbelievable. I was just fortunate enough to finish.”

Ho-Sang may need some seasoning in Bridgeport this season, his first as a professional. The 20 year-old seems to have the right attitude for it, even with his checkered past.

“I know I would get a lot more playing time there,” he said. “I know I may not start on the power play here and get ice time here. I love to play hockey. If they feel they need me down there, I will try to make Bridgeport as good as possible. If they need me up here, I will try to be better.”

That’s what the Islanders want to see. As a team looking to make noise in April and May, the Islanders will need as many capable players. Ho-Sang knows his time will come.

Ho-Sang won’t be Lemieux. No one will be, but he seems to have the skills to be a good player in the NHL and he’s learning to play the game right.

And if he does that, then Ho-Sang will honor No. 66 in the best way possible.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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