Josh Ho-Sang Experiment Was Not a Failure

While Josh Ho-Sang has now left the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, the experiment of bringing him in was by no means a failed one.

Many fans were eager to see if he could turn his AHL contract into an NHL deal; in fact, even speculating that he could be a bargain deadline signing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Indeed, he contributed 16 goals and 19 assists to the Toronto Marlies’ cause last season, so it’s understandable to suggest that maybe he could’ve proven valuable in the NHL.

However, he didn’t quite do enough despite seemingly revitalizing his career. As such, we won’t be seeing him back within the Maple Leafs  next season, rather he’ll be headed to the KHL to play for Salavat Yulaev.

Toronto Maple Leafs Did Good By Josh Ho-Sang

The reason the acquisition of Josh Ho-Sang wasn’t a failure is the sheer fact that he seemed to turn his career around. Let us not forget that he was a reasonably highly-touted late first-round pick back in 2014.

From there though, he ended up ousted from the New York Islanders organization that drafted him and concerns about his attitude ultimately put paid to what might’ve been more than just a 53-game shot at playing in the NHL.

Working with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, Ho-Sang stood out in pre-season and inked a deal with the Toronto Marlies last summer having spent a short stint in Sweden trying to find his game.

Fast forward a year and he represented Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics; something he credits to Kyle Dubas.

Of course, this was the result of NHL players not going, but it’s a real feather in the cap of a player that might’ve fathomed any dreams of representing his nation were long over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs gave Josh Ho-Sang a supportive environment that allowed him to get back to enjoying his hockey and this has led to former Florida Panthers forward and current Salavat Yulaev head coach Viktor Kozlov recruiting him to play the year in Russia.

Really, it highlights that the Toronto Maple Leafs as an organization are willing to give players second chances. Just look to the newly retired Rich Clune, who turned his life around and has been the ideal mentor for the Marlies.

The team is slowly but surely building a reputation for supporting players, for giving second chances, for simply allowing these players to be themselves and it’s reaping dividends.

It’s a loss for the Toronto Marlies offense in the immediacy, but if it leads to other players being comfortable to revitalize their careers in Toronto, it’s absolutely a success.

This experiment last summer was by no means a failure. Instead, it’s hopefully just the start of something much bigger. Best of luck on your new Russian adventure, Josh Ho-Sang!

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