Coaches, according to Josh Ho-Sang, would tell pupils not to play like him. The minor leaguer for the Maple Leafs aims to alter that perception.

Josh Ho-Sang doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to return to the NHL. That does not imply that he is unwilling to play in the NHL. If everything goes according to plan, that is the aim—to earn a spot with the Maple Leafs this season.

Though he also recognizes that he has time with the Toronto Marlies, he views it as a gift that will allow him to redevelop rather than further his talent.

“I feel like I’ve been the child who everyone compliments throughout my entire life, ‘He’s extremely good. Never attempt to play hockey like him,” Ho-Sang recently stated following a Marlies game. “I’m totally committed to improving as a hockey player,” I said.

“I just want to be that player that coaches can say: ‘You should play like him.'”

Ho-Sang’s offensive skill is now self-evidently NHL-caliber. He has eight goals in 13 games this season, which ranks him among the AHL goal scorers.

But the problem has been with how he plays without the puck. Learning defense can be the most difficult aspect of playing professionally for players who have always been the top players on their teams growing up, a lesson Ho-Sang is taking to heart.

“A skilled player wants the puck and gets the puck frequently. And as a result, you don’t always chase the puck,” explained Ho-Sang.

Every NHL player was once the best on his club when they were younger. Their status in the organization changes after they join the NHL. The puck is harder to get. Defense, or getting the puck back to start an offensive play, is significantly more crucial. Ho-Sang is now working on it.

“All it takes is hard work away from the puck. Building that tenacity into your play while still being accountable, advised Ho-Sang. “This has been my best defensive season to date. I enjoy that and I’m proud of that.

Greg Moore, the Marlies’ head coach, appreciates Ho-Sang’s progress as a player.

He does a great job of reflecting on himself and reassessing his actions after each game, according to Moore. “We’re seeing a lot of strong improvements in his game in areas where he knows he needs to improve, such as his defensive positioning, his ability to compete on 50-50 pucks defensively, or even in the offensive zone, demonstrating that he can use his talent to improve his team rather than simply waiting to choose his offensive opportunities.

He’s really beginning to round out his game now; the key is to establish consistency as it improves and expands.

Any NHL power play, 4-on-4, or 3-on-3 situation would benefit from Ho-Sang’s presence. He proved it with his overtime goal against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms: A wrist shot followed by a dipsy-do.

After that goal, people started to wonder if he would ever be called up to the Maple Leafs this season. Ho-Sang is still bound by his AHL agreement. The Leafs would need to sign him to an NHL contract before the trade deadline if they wanted to employ him in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Leafs would then have to decide if he qualified for the NHL. If so, no issue; he could remain with the group. However, he would have to pass waivers following the signing of that contract if there was a salary cap issue, a roster position issue, or if they believed he needed additional time for development with the Marlies. After losing Michael Amadio and Adam Brooks this season, the Leafs haven’t had much luck getting players past waivers.

Ho-Sang doesn’t have a target date in mind.

2014 first-round selection Ho-Sang, who hasn’t really played hockey in the past two years, said as much to the New York Islanders.

Just going slowly and trying to determine what works and what doesn’t. I haven’t played a season in two years, and this is my first time playing in North America in that time.

In Toronto, where he gets a new beginning, none of the rumors that he wasn’t a team player or was a bad apple have followed him. Marlies insiders frequently express how the Ho-Sang they are seeing is not the Ho-Sang they were expecting in private chats. No one disparages him in any way.

Moore remarked, “Staff, players love him.” He is very energizing. He is such a decent man. Every squad needs a few of those charismatic players. He does so in a really positive way.
And because of that, some people now think that Ho-Sang, 25, is rewriting the course of his hockey career.

Ho-Sang remarked, “It’s nice to play without any outside noise.” “It just seems like since I’ve been here, everything has become more quieter. It’s strange to say this about Toronto, but it’s been good. In comparison to my past expectations in Sweden, San Antonio, and Bridgeport, I have different expectations here. It’s fantastic to collaborate with coaches to create a blueprint for what constitutes a good game for me and what does not. I’ve played in more winning games than losing ones.

His attention is not on returning to the NHL.

Ho-Sang stated, “I’m concentrating on the game as a whole, what I can offer in all areas, not just one or two.” “I’m just focusing on the things I need to do to transition to the NHL, my next American League team, or even the following year here, as smoothly as possible. That changeover must be smooth. I don’t want to be in a situation where I excel here but am unable to perform elsewhere.

“Therefore, improving and adjusting your game is crucial. Although I’d really like to stay here, I don’t know what the future holds. Therefore, having a balanced game is crucial to me because it makes it easier for people to say, “Yeah, we want Josh back,” as opposed to, “Mmm, I don’t know.

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