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Colorado Avalanche offseason targets: Josh Ho-Sang

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The Avalanche should look to buy low on Josh Ho-Sang

NHL: New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to adding cheap young talent to an organization, there’s often no better way than to trade for a decent prospect who has fallen out of favor with the team that drafted them. The Colorado Avalanche did this a couple years ago when they grabbed Sven Andrighetto from the Montreal Canadiens. Now, the Avalanche might have the opportunity to do it with a more talented youngster in Josh Ho-Sang.

Ho-Sang has been viewed as an outsider in the Islanders organization for a while now, and speculation is that the team is finally shopping him in earnest this offseason.

A first-round pick in 2014, Ho-Sang is an immensely talented player that has been the center of controversy long before he got anywhere near the NHL. During the 2012 OHL Cup, the then 15-year-old Ho-Sang made headlines when he got suspended for taking a two-handed swing with his stick towards an opponent.

Despite the incident, Ho-Sang was drafted 25th overall a month later, thanks to a tremendous skill level that outweighed his immaturity.

A few years later, he was suspended 15 games for a vicious hit from behind during an OHL playoff game with the Windsor Spitfires. He was later traded to the Niagara Ice Dogs, and no matter where he as playing, the reputation of being a problem child followed.

From being late to his first day of Islanders training camp to his constant battles with Hockey Canada, Ho-Sang only exacerbated the problem.

The thing is, for all the harm that has been done to Josh Ho-Sang’s reputation, it all seems to boil down to the immaturity of a young kid. We see much worse crap get pushed aside for talented players in today’s NHL.

Whether they should or not, it now sounds like the Islanders are ready to move on from Ho-Sang. And if that’s the case, the Avalanche should make a serious offer to acquire him.

Josh Ho-Sang is exactly what this Colorado lineup needs. He is an extremely fast right-winger with dazzling puck skills and game-breaking offensive ability.

“I think I’m ready to come in and be an impact player in the NHL,” Ho-Sang said. “I want to go up against the best players in the league every night.” - Josh Ho-Sang in the spring of 2018

With four goals and 10 points in 21 NHL games, and another 10 goals and 36 points in the AHL, he made a strong case to become an NHL regular this past season. That didn’t happen.

Ho-Sang only got another 20 games in during the 2017-18 season, despite the Islanders being one of the worst teams in the NHL. Adding another 12 points to his NHL resume, the 22-year old spoke about his frustration with the Islanders organization at the end of March.

“I do have things I need to work on down here, my game is far from perfect. It can constantly improve. But I do think a lot of the stuff was unwarranted, especially in terms of the rope that other people were given. I understand I have a history and that might be a factor. I don’t know. But it’s frustrating to me.”

He sounds like a player that’s ready to move on and the Islanders seem willing to cast him aside.

Joe Sakic needs to be there to swoop up the talent.

The Avalanche lack secondary scoring - Josh Ho-Sang adds that.

The Avalanche lack right-shooting wingers - Josh Ho-Sang adds that.

The Avalanche are a team with a very young core that plays a high-tempo style of game - Josh Ho-Sang fits in perfectly.

There’s some risk involved, but not a whole lot. The asking price for Ho-Sang isn’t going to be particularly high. There’s a very good chance the Islanders would move him for a 2nd round pick. Maybe it costs you A.J. Greer or Anton Lindholm and a later pick. Given their recent signings, there’s also the chance that the Islanders are looking for an older roster player in return. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like the Islanders place a value on Ho-Sang that reflects the skill he would bring to an NHL lineup.

With players like this, the potential reward is definitely worth the risk.

To say he’s the perfect fit for the Avalanche might be hyperbole, but Josh Ho-Sang is a great buy-low candidate that also happens to fix a couple of Colorado’s biggest needs.