The New York Islanders were able to pull arguably the biggest steal in the 2014 NHL Draft. They took Joshua Ho-Sang with the 28th overall pick. His talent is heralded and lauded unanimously throughout the ranks of hockey scouts but the jury is still out on ‘character’ issues.(Credit: Flickr/5of7)
Most teams decided that the inevitable headache waiting with his brash nature far outweighed his skill level.
For the Islanders, this was the perfect pick. A damaged draft stock with a player that felt beyond offended that he was passed up on created an immediate bond between a rejected franchise and rejected prospect.
This perceived disrespect from other teams will create a love for the Islanders logo on his jersey. Reason being, they were the only ones that gave him a chance.
My first hockey hero was the ‘Rocket’. Young and driven by numbers, it was always the most goals, most home runs, or the most of just about anything that would gain my interest. That all changed in the mid to late sixties, when a defenseman from Parry Sound, Ontario changed the game of hockey. While Doug Harvey of the Montreal Canadians was responsible for adding the phrase ‘offensive defenseman’ to the hockey lexicon, it would be ten years later that a young Bobby Orr not only defined the phrase and gave it flesh, he also changed the way I watched the game. I became a fan of the men working the blue line.
A lot has been written recently about shot blocking in the NHL. This is nothing new to the game, as Rob McGowan points out in his latest offering, ‘The Value of Andrew MacDonald’, but I still have trouble understanding what would posses a person to do it. How can the brain that tells a body when to inhale and exhale to support life tell that same body to position itself in front of a shot and endanger it? Then I remember when I was fifteen years old, positioning myself in in the line of fire of skeet shooters to make a day of fishing more fun.