What have you been doing this summer? Perfecting your rib sauce for barbecue season? Laying the groundwork for perhaps building a deck at some point? I haven't done anything more productive than catch up on my Netflix queue and that may not change. New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang, on the other hand, has been doing meaningful things.
The 2014 first-rounder has most recently finished up scrimmages at the team's rookie camp, but earlier in the summer he travelled to Jamaica, where he helped build a school outside of Montego Bay. According to a story on the Islanders
web site, Ho-Sang spent five days painting and hauling construction material around, refurbishing and expanding the 65-year-old structure. Ho-Sang, whose father comes from Jamaica, noted that the original classroom was about the size of an NHL dressing room, yet had to accommodate 75 students. For a kid who grew up in the Toronto suburbs, it was a chance to lend a hand to those less fortunate. “It’s obviously difficult when you’re born into poverty, you’re born into a struggle," Ho-Sang said in the article. "To make that transition to another country or a better life is difficult without schooling. Anything I can do to help those kids reach their goals, just like I’ve had help to reach mine, I think that’s kind of my job.” Ho-Sang has been a controversial player since his NHL draft year. The young man tends to be very honest and outspoken – something the hockey world shivers at. He has constantly been
at odds with Hockey Canada, resulting in constant snubs from national teams over the years, but that didn't stop the Islanders from stepping up and taking him 28th overall in the draft, even when other scouts worried he was too much of an individualist to take orders. Personally, I've always had good interactions with Ho-Sang, whether formally or casually. In terms of his performance, he has been an excellent playmaker in his junior career, playing on teams that have never been able to keep the puck out of their own net, thus limiting any shot at a deep playoff run. He has quickly made fans in New York, though, and I have to assume there's a number of kids in Jamaica on his side now, too.
Pictures courtesy of Josh Ho-Sang and the New York Islanders