If Possible the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Claim Josh Ho-Sang

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a pretty deep team, but it could always get better.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs gear up for the new season, there probably isn’t a whole lot of thought being put towards improving the roster, and with the team already earmarking decent NHL options like Kenny Agostino and Adam Brooks to the AHL, the Leafs are unlikely to claim any of the players placed on waivers on Sunday.

On Sunday, as teams get ready to end their abbreviated training camps, 43 players were exposed to waivers, and one player that jumped out as immediately interesting is Islanders player Josh Ho- Sang.

Though the actual chances of them doing so is slim, I think the Leafs should put in a claim for Ho- Sang.

Toronto Maple Leafs and Josh Ho Sang

Josh Ho-Sang is a 24 year old who play the right wing.  He was drafted in the late first round, 28th overall, in 2014. Over the course of three seasons he has played in 53 games and scored 24 points. (stats from hockeydb.com).

Of all the players available, Josh Ho-Sang appears to have the most talent and upside. Although he hasn’t been able to crack the Islanders, Ho-Sang’s talent has led people to believe that given the right chance he could be an excellent NHL player.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, if at all possible, should give him that chance.

The Leafs are only at 46 contracts, but to add Ho-Sang, who would have to play or clear waivers again, they’d have to move someone out, and there is small chance of that happening.  There is no reason to believe that Ho-Sang is better than someone like Jimmy Vesey or Travis Boyd, but then again, he probably does have more upside, which is why I’m writing this.

If the Leafs weren’t in win-now mode, this would probably have a lot higher chance of happening, but I still think they should give it a shot. The fact is, Boyd, Vesey, Joey Andersen, Pierre Engvall and even guys like Brooks or Agostino are all decent enough fourth liners with basically no upside star potential.

At 24 it is unlikely that Ho-Sang becomes a star, but it’s not impossible.  Last season, the media reacted with surprise when he was demoted despite excellent advanced stats.

Ho-Sang’s demotion was certainly an eyebrow-raiser, given that he’d been getting solid minutes even after Jordan Eberle’s return from injury. He only had the one goal and one assist in 10 games, but the Islanders had 60 percent of the shots on goal with Ho-Sang on the ice, along with 53.7 percent of the scoring chances and 57.6 percent of the high-danger chances, as measured by Natural Stat Trick.  (The Athletic.com).

Ho-Sang not only played well, but the article also cited the Islanders incredible record with him in the lineup vs without him (19 games under .500 when he didn’t dress for the last two years, 12 games over when they do).

A talented player with a  history of posting strong possession numbers and helping his team is something the Toronto Maple Leafs should definitely be interested in.