The New York Islanders traded picks No. 35 and No. 57 to the Tampa Bay Lightning to move up and draft Josh Ho-Sang who had been in a bit of a free fall during the 2014 NHL Draft.
Ho-Sang had been projected to go as high as the late-teens, but was admittedly difficult to project and the classic risk-reward type of player. The 5-11, 175-pound center played for Windsor of the OHL last year when he tied for the team lead with 32 goals and led the team with 85 points in 67 regular-season games.
His raw skills and ability are that of a top-five draft pick in most years as he is a great skater with elite speed who can create scoring chances that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
“He handles the puck very well at top speed and sees the ice well. His skating is excellent and his first step is explosive. He cuts to the middle often and can split the defense with surprising speed.”
However, he is prone to turnovers and his decision making is below average at times when he forces the issue and tries to do too much. In that sense, he believes in his talent, but needs to trust when to take chances and when to rely on his teammates.
If he can harness his raw tools, he can be one of the best players to come out of this draft, but if he can’t put it all together he could be a player who has trouble replicating his impressive numbers in the OHL.